Charlie and Boots! I’m suing.

I don’t want to get on my high horse — for horses are hard enough to ride with­out being metaphor­i­cal as well — but there’s a new Aus­tralian film out called Char­lie and Boots that stars Shane Jacob­son and Paul Hogan and I was never even consulted!

For those who don’t know, two of the main char­ac­ters of The Great­est Blog­ger in the World (the roman­tic leads in fact) are called Char­lie and the Boots. Now I can hear you say­ing to your­self “Well ‘Char­lie and Boots’ if very dif­fer­ent to ‘Char­lie and the Boots’” but I’m not sure one lit­tle ‘the’ makes it OK.


No doubt the pro­duc­ers of the film saw my book when it was released two months ago and quickly changed the char­ac­ters names and title of their lit­tle film after real­is­ing the hooky­ness of ‘Char­lie and the Boots’. Never mind the fact that the film would have been in pro­duc­tion for years.

And they no doubt thought they could entan­gle them­selves from poten­tial legal action by putting a ‘the’ in there. Well, they may have. But what’s more pow­er­ful? The Aus­tralian legal sys­tem or my blog. That’s right, film pro­duc­ers. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

PS. The sim­i­lar­i­ties between the film and book char­ac­ters’ names may have sim­ply been due to some Jungian-style col­lec­tive uncon­scious cre­ativ­ity a cou­ple of years back. We may never know. Not con­sciously anyway.

My Melbourne Writers’ Festival session

I had a lovely time dur­ing my Mel­bourne Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val ses­sion yes­ter­day. I chat­ted to chair Andrew Finnegan about blog­ging and what makes a blog good and/or bad.

I showed off the diverse sub­ject nature of blogs with my lappy (pro­ject­ing onto the big screen) with a knit­ting blog and a Mon­ster Truck blog as well as blogs that are more seri­ous in nature such as Ran­dom Acts of Real­ity — an anony­mous blog writ­ten by an active para­medic in Lon­don. And of course I showed a com­pletely irrel­e­vant blog/website — Bad Paint­ings of Barack Obama.

The audi­ence was an inquis­i­tive one with lots of ques­tions such as ‘how do you find blogs about your favourite top­ics?’ To which the answer was Tech­no­rati — the search engines for blogs. That ques­tion was eas­ier to answer than ‘What were you like as a high school kid?’ which descended into me blab­ber­ing about unpop­u­lar­ity and not being good at Bas­ket­ball. Ergh.


And just to prove I was there, here’s me at the ses­sion with the very cool audi­ence that came to see me at the Fes­ti­val Club — which looked more like a Jazz Club than a lit­er­ary venue but was a nice and homely space to play in for 45 or so minutes.

MWF and Andrew McDonalds">MWF and Andrew McDonalds

I have my first fes­ti­val apper­ance com­ing up this week and it is très excit­ing. The Mel­bourne Writ­ers Fes­ti­val, no less! I’ll be in con­ver­sa­tion with Andrew Fine­gan about Nerds, Blog­ging and the Art of Cool. How­ever, I am prob­a­bly only qual­i­fied to talk about one and a half of those things. I think I will argue that blog­ging has become cool but cool has become nerdy. Any­ways, it should be fun. I won­der if I get free ice tea? Prob­a­bly not.

In other news, Esther from Booked Out Speak­ers Agency was in Syd­ney last week and came closer to my dopple­ganger and gen­eral life rival Andrew McDon­ald, the Syd­ney Shoe­maker,  than I have ever been. Thanks for the pic Esther!

Esther at Andrew

That’s his Syd­ney shop behind her. There is lit­tle doubt that before long the shop will be more pop­u­lar with tourists than customers.

My Take a Skull to Work or School Day

So after find­ing an old goat skull in my back­yard a few weeks ago and pro­claim­ing August 10 to be National Take a Skull to Work or School Day today was the day!


I arrived at the office of my day job with a cof­fee in one hand and my trusty skull in the other. National Skull Day had begun.


I kept the skull with me all day long. It sat next to my com­puter for the most part. I don’t know whether this is OH&S com­pli­ant or hygienic. I would pre­fer not to know.


I even took the skull with me to work meet­ings. For some rea­son my co-worker Sean had trou­ble con­cen­trat­ing on work dur­ing the above meeting.


And at the end of the day I took my skull home with me on my bike. I didn’t raise aware­ness of any­thing, nor raise money for a good cause, but when National Take a Skull to Work or School Day becomes a pop­u­lar mile­stone on cal­en­dars around the world I will be con­tent know­ing that I took part in the very first such day. And I did it alone. Or should I say, I did it together with my cool (although kind of gross) goat skull.

How to write a good, fake email

This week a man called God­win Grech admit­ted to writ­ing a fake email that attempted to make Prime Min­is­ter Kevin Rudd look like he was giv­ing his mates spe­cial treatment.


Obvi­ously God­win Grech (that’s him above, after the wind changed) is not very good at writ­ing fake emails. So today I present my guide to writ­ing a good, fake email.

Start the email in a friendly man­ner so as to make the reader feel com­fort­able right from the begin­ning. A casual greet­ing such as Waddup witchoo? is a good start. For the moth­ers read­ing this it trans­lates to What is up with you? And for the grand­moth­ers read­ing it trans­lates to How are you, my dear?

Next we need to decide how exactly this email will be a ‘fake’. Some peo­ple like to try to trick peo­ple into send­ing them money. Some peo­ple like to try to make the Prime Min­is­ter look dodgy. But I like to send emails that are the equiv­a­lent to mak­ing prank calls. For exam­ple, I might pre­tend like I’m giv­ing away free Hip­pies, which are a cross between a hip­pos and pup­pies. They’re very cute.


So I would write I am giv­ing away free Hip­pies. Click here if you want some. But instead of link­ing through to the free Hip­pies (which don’t exist any­way) I would link through to some­thing gross. Like a pic­ture of Bear poop.

Then sign off the email as pro­fes­sion­ally as you can so as to not raise sus­pi­cions. Some­thing like See you on the flippity-flip-flip side, From Andrew. Also put some­thing in the sub­ject line of the email that makes it look like a real email. Some­thing like Pick Up a Free Hip­pie. Now let’s see how it reads.

Date: 6/08/2009
From: Andrew McDon­ald
To: Some­one else
Sub­ject: Pick Up a Free Hip­pie

Waddup witchoo?

I am giv­ing away free Hip­pies. Click here if you want some.

See you on the flippity-flip-flip side,

From Andrew

Take note God­win Grech. This is how you write a proper, fake email.

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