Category Archives: correspondences

Inaugural Premier’s Obituary Award

My Dearest Queensland, I have just returned from a weekend swimming in your resplendant blue waters at Stradbroke island, followed by two nights in the majestic sunshine coast hinterland, only to return to Brisbane and discover that Campbell 'I hate the arts so much you'd think they strangled my puppy' Newman has scrapped the Queensland Premier's Literary Awards. Bewilderingly, he has deigned to do this during The OFFICIAL YEAR OF READING. Did no one send him a memo? Perhaps they did, and he didn't read it. After all, he has publicly stated that he's 'not into studies and plans.' Not sure how he managed to get an engineering degree, if that's the case…


The money he's 'saving' is a paltry $224 000, an amount that is miniscule in terms of a state budget, but means a great deal to the arts. We are talking about BOOKS here! In the words of George R. R. Martin (via Tyrion Lannister): "The mind need books like a sword needs a whetstone." Newman, it would appear, is all too happy to have some very blunt swords at play.

"If I had to choose between Joffrey and Newman… Hrm. Is there a third option? Stabbing my eyes out with a fork perhaps?"

The loss of the Premier's Literary Award is a devastating blow to the QLD literary community, and if there's one thing I've learnt from a misspent youth reading too many fantasy novels, revenge is a cycle which always ends in joyous victory of good over evil with no sideline ramifications whatsoever. That's why I am, today, right now, announcing the Inaugural Premier's Obituary Award. Whoever can create the most amusing protest (of any kind) against this atrocity, or Mr. Newman in general, will receive:

ReadingMadameBovary_cover  +  Dying +  Cd_ripping

ZEB AND THE GREAT RUCKUS (Um…it doesn't have a cover design yet…)

1 x copy of Reading Madame Bovary The last (ever!?) book to win the Premier's Fiction award

1 x signed copy of my first novel A Beginner's Guide to Dying in India

1 x signed copy of my forthcoming novel Zeb and The Great Ruckus (Due for release later this year).

20 x new release CDs from both major and indie labels. (From my other job as a music reviewer. Selection will depend on what the hell they give me).

All of this will be hand delivered by me. I'll even make you dinner if you like. (Although I am a terrible cook.)

Email your entries (photos/word docs/media files/whatever you’ve got) to jmdonellan(AT)gmail(DOT)com by June 30th. The winner will be decided on August 30th.

You should also sign this petition to have the award reinstated and check out the Queensland Literary awards, recently established by Krissy Keen and Matthew Condon.


Dearest Academy Floral OR STFU Valentine’s day

Dearest Academy Floral

Thanks so much for your suggestion for me to send more flowers to my now ex-girlfriend for Valentine's day. And yes, you are right. That first bouquet I sent back in September did indeed ‘WOW!’ her. The problem is that the flowers I had delivered to her have now withered and died and been tossed into the nearest trash receptacle.

 Much like our relationship. 


For a brief period which future literary historians will doubtlessly refer to as ‘J.M. Donellan’s “SWEET MOTHER OF GOD WHY IS EVERYTHING SO UTTERLY AND INCOMPREHENSIBLY HORRIBLE ALWAYS AND ALL THE TIME?’ period I was temporarily transformed into a quivering and mildly alcoholic wreck spending most of my time lying on the floor listening to the Cure’s Disintegration on repeat and consuming a weekly average of twelve packs of oreos.


Thankfully I’ve now more or less recovered, reduced my oreo intake to a much healthier and more sustainable pack a day habit and returned to an emotional state of which Oprah would be far more approving. After all, as the old cliché says, there are ‘plenty more fish in the sea.’ (The fact that the search for love is so frequently compared to tricking a small water dwelling animal into spearing a hook through its face and then subsequently forcing it to asphyxiate in one final furious fit of fatal convulsions before removing its outer layer and internal organs before cooking and consuming said animal does, however, somewhat concern me.)

I suppose I COULD still send her more flowers, but that would seem kind of weird and pathetic. I am both of those things of course, but I’m trying to pretend like I’m not. So far I am attempting to accomplish this by doing push ups every morning, but I’ve been doing this for literally DAYS now and I still don’t have rippling biceps so I’m not really sure what the point is when I can just be my normal scrawny self with absolutely no effort whatsoever.  

I’m sure your message was well intentioned, but the fact is, for a great many people Valentine’s day is just a reminder of the fact that they are tragically alone. It’s a day when single people feel like the entire world has conspired to say LOOK AT US! LOOK AT WHAT WE HAVE! LOOK HOW MUCH HAPPIER WE ARE THAN YOU!

"I wuv you honey baby sweetie pie!"

"Not as much as I wuv YOU my little muffintop on stuffed crust pizza base with double cherries on top and a side of bacon fondue pudding!"

Of course I can always take solace in the fact that the vast majority of those couples are either going to break up at some point in the near future or alternatively edge incrementally towards their graves despising each other slightly more with each transpiring hour until they are just a pair of nonagenarian husks that stare into each other’s gimlet-like eyes with an odious cocktail of disdain and boredom whose potency is outdone only by their own body odour and crippling ennui.

In conclusion, unless you feel like adding a ‘deliver large box filled with vodka, cheesecake and Stevie Ray Vaughn’ albums to your Valentine’s day package options I don’t think I will be interested in your services.

Grey_goose_vodka-948+     Stevie+Ray+Vaughan+no1 + Cheesecake =  YES.

In fact, after I finish writing this email I am going to instigate a campaign to have National “I Am Still Single Because I Refuse to Settle Down with Anyone Who Won’t Make Me Supremely Happy and Allow Me To Do the Same for Them in Return in Order to Allow My Already Astonishing Levels of Awesomeness to Attain Even Greater Heights” day. This will basically involve a host of astoundingly wonderful single people getting together to drink vodka, eat cheesecake, air guitar to Stevie Ray Vaughn albums and indulge in guilt-free make out sessions in the utilities closet.  Feel free to attend.

Kind re:Guards

J.M. Donellan



Paper girl festival video interview



Writers aren't used to having our faces (or any other parts) on camera. Despite spending most of our lives desperately trying to communicate through the use of various combinations of 26 letters and a small selection of punctuation marks that the modern world is increasingly less interested in correctly utilising, we are a species that is frequently heard but never seen. 

Unless you're J.K. Rowling or Tara Moss, no one knows what the hell you look like. I've read maybe a half a dozen of Irvine Welsh's books and I couldn't even begin to guess at his physical appearance. For all I know he's a morbidly obese man with a prolific beard, terrible body odour, a nipple piercing and a unicorn tattoo prominently displayed on his right forearm.

For this reason it was something of a novelty for me to do this interview with the organisers of the Papergirl festival. It's a really great opportunity for artists and writers to literally shove their work in people's faces. I've submitted a few of my short stories, so if you see someone approach you on a bicycle holding out a rolled up bundle of papers on the 4th of February, take a peek inside…

You can see interviews with other artists participating below. There are still a few days left to submit work! Artists and writers: get amongst it. 



Diet Tips from the Vampire Girl With a Dragon Tattoo Who Played a Game of Thrones With Fire

Good Morrow to you, Sirs and Madams of the Big Six consortium of publishers! I trust you are well. Before I tell you about the EXCITING!!!! opportunity I am offering you today, I have to ask, are you ever concerned by the fact that your informal collective moniker sounds like some kind of crime syndicate? On the other hand, it is also reminiscent of the Bionic Six, which was one of my favourite cartoons as a kid. Do any of you have superpowers, (besides an almost impregnable stranglehold on the publishing industry that is)? 


I know that Oprah's retirement last year must have been a sad day for you, seeing as she directly influenced so many people to consume your books in drool inducing quantities. So I'm here with some news to cheer you up! I am offering YOU the EXCITING opportunity to publish my third novel. That's right! This is not a dream, so quit stabbing that fork into your leg! I, J.M. Donellan, renowned New York Limes Best Smelling author, am currently accepting proposals for contracts to publish the bizarrely titled Adonis Comma Coma.

Now, granted, this novel does not feature diet tips, games involving thrones, vampires, or girls with dragon tattoos who play with fire. I'm saving all of these for my forthcoming novel Diet Tips from the Vampire Girl With a Dragon Tattoo Who Played a Game of Thrones With Fire. That'll sell a billion and ten copies, no question, but in the meantime I offer you the opportunity to place Adonis Comma Coma under your metaphorical wings. Or literal wings if you have them, maybe that's one of your superpowers.

Diet tips from the vampire girl with the dragon tattoo

Adonis Comma Coma is a dark comedy about a synaesthetic nurse named Freya who is hired to look after the comatose Elijah, the golden child of the wealthy and eccentric Vincetti family. However, it soon becomes clear that Elijah may not have been the prodigious saint that everyone made him out to be. Meanwhile, someone is disposing of the Vincetti's corporate rivals in a series of imaginatively violent executions. Strange events are transpiring in the curiously over fortified room of the Vincetti mansion, and it may or not have something to do with a woman who claims to be Marilyn Monroe…

Applications should be made in the form of interpretative dance, magical cake, fireworks display or self-indulgent guitar solo. Winners will be chosen based on talent, enthusiasm and endurance. 


If you are interested in this EXCITING, LIFE CHANGING opportunity, then don't think JUST ACT NOW!III  I'm looking for someone to offer me a contract with 80-90% royalties, a jetpack, the complete set of Garbage Pail Kids cards, a performing monkey and a limo with accompanying driver named something like Ahmir or Vikram with whom I can share heartwarming exchanges about the differences between our cultures that can later be presented in a delightful montage set to this song:


I look forward to receiving your dance performance, fireworks display, magic cake or guitar solo.

Swarm Regards

J.M. Donellan






Literally the ugliest thing ever built in all of human history

My Dearest Brisbane City Council,

I hope that the first days of 2012 have treated you well and that you are recovering from your collective hangover, which I imagine a government body experiences as a sort of hive mind shared headache coupled with an inexplicable desire to eat copious quantities of Tim Tams.

Recently on Waterworks Rd, which I have lived near, next to and occasionally underneath for the last five years or so, a giant camera was installed. Now, I understand that speed cameras and the like are important, but the plethora of digital monitoring devices installed along this street over the last few years makes me concerned that I might be secretly filmed as part of a potently uninteresting reality TV show entitled 'Guy Who Gets Increasingly Irate About Vast Numbers of Cameras and Then Writes a Dumb Letter About it.'  

If you don't think this looks like a giant robot penis, then you clearly haven't seen enough robot penises.  

This new camera is particularly striking because, let's be honest, it looks like the penis of a giant robot. Now, I certainly don't want to give the impression that I'm the sort of backward individual that thinks transmogrifying our streetscape into some sort of digitally omniscient panopticon is a BAD idea. 

Nor would I ever make the outrageous accusation that waging a war on street art, ostensibly in the interest of maintaining the aesthetics of this fair city, is a violently incongruent campaign to run whilst simultaneously installing thirty foot steel pillars that resemble giant robot penises. That said, although I've never been one for hyperbole I think it would be no exaggeration to say that this is literally the ugliest human structure ever erected by any human anywhere in all of history. I have never in all my days seen anything more hideous, and I once saw a picture of Nicole Ritchie without makeup.

Zombie2"OMFG Paris and I are SO not friends anymore!"

Now, I'm aware that you must receive countless letters from concerned citizens that are all complaints with no solutions. But today is your lucky day! In addition to my complaints, I am going to offer you some potential solutions to this problem and completely waive my usual consultation fee of $500 per hour and a very large piece of cheesecake.

 Clearly the camera would be costly and inefficient to take down, regardless of the number of complaints urging you to do so. But there is nothing to stop you dressing it up a little! Who knows, this monstrous symbol of constant citizen monitoring could be just like that girl with the ugly glasses in all those terrible teen movies that turns out to actually be a ridiculously hot girl who despite her remarkable intellect had never once thought to wear contacts and let her hair down. 




"Oh what a gay old time we are having dancing in ridiculously impractical clothing around this giant robot penis!"

No one really knows the true origin of the maypole. Some say it was a stick that was originally intended for the burning of particularly colourful witches, others claim that maypole dancing was an activity invented by a antiquarian marketing company that wanted to increase sales of poles, ribbons and maypole related accessories. Though its origins are shrouded in mystery, one thing's clear: everybody loves a maypole!


"Hey kids, you know what would make Christmas even better this year? A camera mounted at the top of the tree to constantly monitor our activity!"

Wasn't it sad when Christmas was over? After months of gleefully watching credit card debts expand, enjoying irate shoppers shoving each other out of the way and listening to weird uncle Frank's annual Christmas rant about how boat people and gay marriage are the leading cause of heart failure amongst middle aged conservatives we had to put all the decorations away and return to our dreary non-Christmassy lives. But what if we could make that magic last all YEAR LONG?! A giant xmas tree camera tower is the obvious answer.


               Tesla coil

The main thing that you need to know about the Tesla coil is that it is amazing. You think a giant camera is going to encourage safe driving? Just think about how great it would be if that camera could also SHOOT LIGHTNING. Plus Waterworks rd. would constantly resemble the set of a B grade science fiction movie, and who the hell wouldn't want that? IDIOTS, that's who! 

This concludes my complaint letter. I hope enjoy the rest of your day, and I look forward to seeing the completed maypole, Xmas tree or Tesla coil installed within the next 5-10 workdays. 

Yours Since Clearly,

J.M. Donellan



My Dearest Target

My Dearest Target,

How are you? I trust you are enjoying the start of the Christmas period, which I imagine major retailers look forward to with all the anticipation of a sex addict awaiting a holiday in Ibiza.


Yesterday I was perusing your shelves in search of a toiletries bag that I had believed I would require for my planned trip to New York. As it turns out neither the toiletries bag nor the trip to New York will now be necessary as my girlfriend decided to break up with me a few days before our one year anniversary and thus reduce me to an irrational, quivering wreck engaged in peculiar behavior such as writing elaborate complaint letters to department stores, but that’s neither here nor the other place.

Whilst waiting in line to make my purchase I was subjected to your holiday promo clip. Now, aside from the fact that this insufferably saccharine commercial featured lots of sickeningly elated blonde white people and storks carrying babies (when was this thing written, the 1950s?) the ad and its ridiculously loud music were repeated and repeated over and over again and again and again. It was interrupted by only the intermittent PROCEED TO CHECKOUT FIVE announcements, making me feel as though I was alternating my time between some Kafkaesque consumer hell and some Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare (Kafka really was the king of literary misery wasn’t he?)

If I had to listen to a Target ad on infinite loop my writing would have been even MORE despressing!

I’m not sure if you are aware of this, but incessantly repeated music is actually one of the most popular modern forms of psychological torture. During the Bush era two of the favourite bands used at Guantanamo bay were Nine Inch Nails and Massive Attack. Quite ironic given the fact that both of those bands despised the Bush administration. Do you think they got paid royalties for public broadcast each time their song got repeated? 

Once in India I took a 20 hour jeep ride from Srinagar to Leh, and the MP3 player kept skipping back to the start of whatever song it was playing. We asked the driver to just turn it off but he told us that without music he would fall asleep and at this point we were on a tiny Himalayan mountain road with a steep ravine right reaching ominously out beneath us so we let him have his way. Just before we finally reached Leh, we heard the first ten seconds of the song Gimmie More featuring the delightful opening line “It’s Britney bitch!” over and over and over (and over). By the time we reached Leh we had been reduced to giggling, hysterical lunatics.


Try listening to THIS 500 times in a row…

So as I’m listening to this syrupy commercial on infinite repeatrepeatrepeat, I’m thinking, what effect is this having on the staff here? Surely this can’t be psychologically healthy? Finally the all-commanding screen interrupts the commercial and instructs me to move to the checkout. I always do what television tells me, so I dutifully obeyed and handed my soon to be redundant travel toiletries bag to the young man behind the counter.

“That’s a total of five cents.” Says he. I looked at price tag, which quite definitely stated $9.05, and I thought to myself, surely I must have misheard him? It can’t possibly be some sort of 99.45% Christmas discount? I passed him $20, and he handed me back $19.95. I took the money in my hand and was open to say something along the lines of “Whaaaaaaaaat?” when the all-seeing monitor demanded that I vacate the checkout so that it might be utilised by another obedient consumer.

In conclusion: perhaps you should reconsider the all-seeing monitor playing your advertisements on infinite loop, not only for the effect it has on your staff, but the effect it has on your profit margin.



Swarm regards

J.M. Donellan


Are piñatas encouraging children to indulge in animal cruelty?

The first time saw a piñata was at a friend’s birthday party in first grade. Truth be told he wasn’t really my friend at all. I only received an invitation because his mum felt sorry for the nerdy kid who sat in the library reading comic books at lunch time but I still got to eat a bunch of cake and fairy bread in exchange for a present that my parents paid for anyway so that’s a win in my book.




I remember looking at that strange kaleidoscopically coloured psuedodonkey with a sense of childlike wonder (the sole kind of wonder I was able to employ at that stage). I thought to myself:

“Is this some pagan god being raised above our heads that we might worship it? Is all this elaborate feasting actually in celebration of this rainbow coloured donkey in the hope that he will bestow some magical burro blessings upon our assembly?

What if God finds out??? He might get angry and take away all my Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle toys and give them to the Archangels to play with! I bet Gabriel can’t even do Donatello’s voice right at all!”   



"And verily Donatello doth wield the mighty longstick of justice, smiting down his heathen enemies and gazing disapprovingly at those who work upon the Sabbath day."


As I watched that colourful idol being raised high above our heads, I ignored the mounting desire to fall on my knees in supplication. This was fortunate because if I had gotten grass stains on my only pair of Good Pants mum would have given me a scolding from which no donkey deity in existence could possibly save me.

I stared at its colourful hide, resplendent in the summer sun. Its bright, vacant eyes seemed to stare omnisciently out at the world beneath it. It was a few moments before I noticed that the birthday boy (who had a nasty habit of ‘doing the ups’ with a frequency altogether far too high for a seven year old boy) had raised his stick threateningly toward the Donkey god.

I opened my mouth to scream, but no sound escaped my lips (although this may have been predominately attributed to the fact that my mouth was currently occupied with the act of furiously masticating on a piece of chocolate cake, two freddo frogs and a caramel button). My wide young eyes watched in horror as the Donkey God’s hide ruptured and split. It would be many years later that I would learn the word ‘deicide’, which is unfortunate really because that was perhaps the only moment in my existence that screaming ‘DEICIDE!’ would ever be applicable.




But lo! What wonder spilled forth from the hide of the Donkey God? Verily and forsooth, it was a torrential rain of all the sweets and splendours that all the wide heavens could ever seek to contain! Vile, smelly Lucas basked in a shower of freddo frogs, lollipops and hard candies. What a marvellous marriage of violence and confectionary!

What strange abhorrent wonder had I beheld? My mind reeled with the possibilities and implications. Would all animals yield similar bounty? Was all mammalian life on earth secretly a walking receptacle for copious amounts of candy? Perhaps my very own cat was proudly prowling around my house concealing a gut filled with more delicious delights than a halloween trick or treat sack? It was only a week later, after some unfortunate and highly unsuccessful experimentation involving a large stick and my grandfather’s prize jersey cow, that I was dutifully informed that piñatas were not real animals, and that the inside of a cow was really just a collection of muscles, stomachs and intestines.


            Jersey_cow[1]    FC_NotEqual_41725_lg         JerseyCaramels

       Note to 7 year old self: Jersey cows do not 

contain Jersey caramels. 


“Gross!” I yelled. “Thank god we don’t have to ever eat that!” My mother placed my dinner of steak and veggies before me, opened her mouth as if to speak, then simply smiled and sunk her teeth into the first bite of juicy red rump.


Review of Machiavelli’s the (Artist Formerly Known as) Prince

Penguin books are currently running a competition inviting readers to write a review of their favourite Popular Penguin book. I thought I'd throw my hat in the ring. Here's my entry:

Niccolo Machiavelli's 'The Prince' is, without question, the single worst biography of the Artist Once Again Known As Prince that I have ever read.

Not only does it completely omit any information about Prince at all, it actually spends the entirety of its 110 pages seeking to offer the Artist counsel on how to most efficiently oppress his legions of fans through various political mechanisms and philosophies.


 "Aw HELL NO! You did NOT just tell me how to be the aggressively tryannical monarch of this imperial principality!"

I mean, don't get me wrong, I would vote for Prince whether he wanted to be the President of the USA or the president of my auntie Jill's Tuesday book club (and come to think of it they need a new president seeing as Mavis recently died in an unfortunate highland dancing related incident). However, to presume to give Prince advice on ANYTHING is insufferably presumptuous. Seriously Niccolo, this is the man who wrote PURPLE RAIN. Purple freaking rain! When you’ve sold 80 million albums, had your songs covered by everyone from Chaka Khan to Sinead O’Connor and directed/starred in three feature films then maybe you can start dispensing advice.

Machiavelli_by_Santi_di_Tito "Before all else, be armed (with a purple love symbol shaped guitar)."

Until then I suggest you just kick back, throw a copy of ‘Diamonds and Pearls’ on the stereo and party like it’s 1499.





Jerks vs. the internet

 Good morrow to you Sirs and Madams!

If you are reading this, then you are clearly the owner of 1 x internet. Congratulations! You now have access to an incredible information network featuring 231 million pictures of cats and a tumblr site that documents Buffy outfits! Not only this but the magic of the internet allows to connect and communicate with your fellow humans conveniently and instantly.


Any further questions?

Excited_man_160w     Can I comment on someone else's

        ideas and opinions?


Most certainly!


 Can I, in turn, share my own carefully formulated

opinions based on verified information from

a variety of reputable sources?


Be my guest!


 Can I go onto a missing person's report and whine

to the police service about legal semantics thereby impeding

the search for a missing person who may well be in grave danger?


Well, erm, I mean…I guess you could…

but why would-

Excited_manGREAT! Brb.

Screen shot 2011-08-28 at 11.34.27 AM
A few days ago a friend posted this missing person notice, alerting the community to the fact that a 17 year old man had gone missing. Now, I have to admit that I was previously unaware that under QLD state law a 17 year old is classified as an adult. However, unlike one particularly insensitive facebook user I did not respond to this new information by posting "since when has a person under 18 been classed as an adult…this is a child missing……..not a MAN!!!!!!!!" Colour me prudish, but this strikes me as being about as rude as vociferously criticising the floral arrangements at your grandma's funeral.

Flowers and a Bear

Oh fuck seriously? Pink and mauve held by

a cute white teddy?!?! Grandma would just DIE of embarrassment!

You know, if she wasn't already dead…

The notice wall quickly degenerated into a series of arguments about the law in question (COUPLED WITH AN OBSCENELY EXCESSIVE USE OF CAPS AND EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!) followed by rebukes and rebuttals. What those posting failed to remember is that the missing person (boy, man, whatever the hell tickles your Sid and Nancy) is an actual human who is possibly in serious danger and unquestionably has a family currently undergoing severe emotional distress. The problem with the internet is that users forget that despite the physical distance and lack of eye contact, bad breath and body odour that occurs during conversations, these are actual people who deserve to be treated with the respect that this particular DNA sequence is supposed to accord an organism.

For instance; reading this post you might be fooled into thinking that it was composed by some manner of incomprehensibly brilliant and witty blogging program. However, the author of this article is in fact a human with emotions, desires, a bad credit rating and a weird rash on my upper left thigh that I should probably see a doctor about.

Despite that fact that you can transmogrify into grandwarrior wizard Archimedes Lothorius on the internet, you still remain the same geeky human in real life. But if you are a jerk on the internet, you are still the same Jerky McJerkface with the face of a jerk when the computer shuts down. Here is a series of diagrams to demonstrate:


Wizardwarrior         VS         Geek
           internet                                           real life

 FIG 2

Jerk       VS     Jerk
       internet                                              real life

 If you have any information about Matthew, contact the Queensland Police. If you want to rant and rave about legal semantics and generally be an insensitive arsehole why not try standing on the table of your local pub and talking in a LOUD VOICE!!!! and see how well that works out for you in the real world.


Explosions in the sky

My Dearest Qantas,

My name is Josh Donellan and I am a person and, far more importantly, a Qantas frequent flyer. Recently, upon returning from India via Singapore I flew on flight QF52 which was supposed to take me to Brisbane. (Note the use of the word ‘supposed.’) I rate the customer service 4/5, the entertainment selection 5/5, the food 4/5 and the plane’s ability to take off without any part of it exploding DEAR GOD ARE YOU FRIGGING KIDDING ME I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE!

Here is a list of times when I enjoy hearing explosions:

1)   Whilst playing xbox

2)   Whilst watching fireworks

3)   On Guy Fawkes day

4)   Whilst listening to experimental electronic albums


You will note that, ‘when travelling on an aeroplane’ does not appear on this list. Shortly after the explosion the captain assured us that it was simply a burst tyre and that there was nothing to worry about, but that we would need to make a forced landing.


“Hi, I’m John Travolta. My face is one of the last

things you’ll see before you die a fiery death.

I of course translated this as “you have between 5-10 minutes to live before perishing in a fiery blaze.” Naturally I am grateful to John Travolta for appearing to me in the safety video and telling me that everything would be fine, but my mother wisely taught me to never trust a scientologist appearing in paid product endorsements. Luckily, we landed relatively safely, although the vast fleet of police and fire engines that greeted us on the landing strip was less than reassuring.

Although I was dismayed at the substantial delay to my return home, I must confess that the provided accommodations at the Carlton Singapore were superb. On my salary I estimate I would have to work for eight million years in order to just afford being able to spend 5 mins in the lobby of that opulent hotel. I was somewhat perturbed at having to wait nearly twelve hours for any word from the airline at all, but when I was eventually told by the very helpful hotel staff to ‘just go to the airport and it should be alright,’ I was of course relieved.

However, when I arrived at the check-in desk I was politely informed that provisions had been made for most of the several hundred other passengers, but that the dozen or so of us who had come from Mumbai had not been booked on anything and I would have to be placed on standby, or perhaps wait until tomorrow for a flight. If I had to describe my emotions at that particular juncture using pop culture references, I would say I felt part ‘that bit in the LION KING where Mufasa dies’ a smidgen ‘that bit in AKIRA when Kenada screams TETSUOOOOOOOOO! mixed with just a hint of ‘that part in DRUNKEN MASTER where Jackie Chan breaks all the things.’

MufasaDies “Did you just say…’STAND BY???????'”

After becoming visibly upset the check in clerk was so moved and/or disgusted by my pathetic emotional outburst that she had the courtesy to book me a flight to Brisbane via Melbourne. Granted, this took around 40 minutes to accomplish and seemed to require not only the use of the computer directly in front of her, but also 4 separate visits to the terminal at the customer help desk. Either the other computers had some kind of higher authorization or her avatar was just having a pretty hectic day in ‘Second Life’, I’m not sure.

Himalayan-marmotHimalayan Marmot don’t like


Due to the delay I missed a day’s work at the kindergarten where I teach. This means that in addition to forfeiting a day’s pay, because of the public holiday the children will now have to wait an extra TWO days to see my pictures of Himalayan yaks and marmots that they have been so eager to see. Dearest Sir/Madam/Automated response bot, I sincerely hope with all of my heart and most of my appendix that you never in all your days have to bear witness to the sight of two dozen potently adorable 4 year old children staring at you with sad, disappointed eyes. It is a tragic tableau that will wither your soul and cause sadness to rise within you like a corpulent and melancholy whale.

Sad kid
Multiply this image by 24. If you aren’t crying or

at least saying ‘awwwwwww’ sympathetically

you are most likely a violent sociopath.

In response to this emotional trauma and loss of both time and pay I feel it only reasonable to request some form of compensation. I am a reasonable man, and will therefore present you with a choice of four options:

A)   1.3 billion frequent flyer miles

B)   $2000 dollars in unmarked bills (delivered by Scarlett Johansson)

C)   a robot elephant that shoots fireworks from its trunk and deep fried ice cream from its eyeballs

D)   a condoling hug from every single Qantas staff member (except John Travolta)

I eagerly await your reply.

Swarm Regards,

Josh Donellan