LapTopping – The Bit Long, Official E-zine of The Bedroom Philosopher

Sunday March 27, 2011



Happy Birthday Quentin Tarantino 48 today!
Happy Birthday Fergie 36 today!


Moments that fell down the back of the couch

From Virginia Dooley.

Roughly seven years ago when I was a slimmer, younger version of what I am today, I was walking to work along the boardwalk at Docklands. A middle aged man with white hair ran past me. As he passed he swivelled his head back to check me out. The incident caused him to have a most spectacular fall. I stopped in my tracks, stunned. I was about to ask if he was OK, but before I could do or say anything, he jumped to his feet, sprang around to face me, spread his arms out and in a crazy tone of voice said, “I’M OKAY!” He then resumed his run.

It was John Lithgow from 3rd Rock from the Sun.
Apparently he was doing stand up or some such at Crown Casino.

DO YOU HAVE A TINY LEGEND? SEND IT TO: laptopping at bedroomphilosopher dot com


Phrases people have typed into Google to land on my website:

“do cruskits make you fat”
“doing a wee -baby -toddler – toilet training”
“how do you spell hello in Canadian”
“canberra muesli”
“if you could have a room full of any one thing what would it be?”
“gold gay tune”
“are there any pin cushion clubs”
“bedroom fulosifer”
“last night i found a note you wrote left inside my room 1 21 am i picked apart the words you didn t choose 1 21 am i wrote out every one and then i hid them round your room 1 21 am this love is bound with heart and guts and glue”
“i heard a really mellow song on triple j what could it be”







WIT-BIX @ The Melbourne Interstate Comedy Festival.
Venue: Trades Hall, 54 Victoria St, Carlton
Dates: 31st March – 26th April (not Mondays), Previews: 31st March, 1st and 2nd of April
Tickets: $23.50 full price, $19.50 concession, $19.50 for groups of 8 or more, $19.50 for preview shows, $18.50 for Tightarse Tuesday Tickets.
Times: Tuesday – Saturday: 9.30pm Sundays: 8.30pm
Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au

I recommend shows by Josh Earl, Zoe Coombs Marr, and Ben Pobjie.




I recently performed a lunchtime gig at Monash University, Clayton Campus in Victoria. It was my one day off during a two week Adelaide Fringe run. I had to get up at four AM to catch the flight over. I was in a ‘fruity’ mood.

I arrived to find a DJ playing that ‘Barbara Streisand’ song at full volume. How audacious are DJ’s to think their violent beats are welcome at 10:30am on a Wednesday? I don’t care if you have been booked and are being paid. Either play some Neil Young or forfeit your set out of goodwill. Dance music has its territory – nightclubs, raves and parties, must it encroach on the traditional timeslot of the acoustic musician as well?

Happiness is scoffing a nutrient water ten minutes before you go onstage for a gig you know for a scientific fact isn’t going to be remotely inspiring. Additional happiness is having used the exact same kind of bottle to wee into backstage at your Fringe venue the night before because the toilet is down two flights of stairs and life’s too short to perform with any kind of wee-wee in you. Nutrient water bottles are handy as they have a wide mouth. Ladies.

My solo gig started out routinely. I left my sunglasses on, as an International sign of ‘I do not care. Do not mess with me. I will crush you with my professionalism’ as oft-modelled by E from the Eels at his rockier shows. There ain’t much banter, it’s a four to the floor setlist burner.

I can’t believe how much universities have sold out. Not only are they condensing their art faculties and burning off specialty subjects, but they are gaily renting out prime clubs and societies real estate to any evil multi-national who’ll plonk five figures in their off-shore account. Today I was lucky enough to have the Lipton Ice Tea cult, dressed in offensive lime green and passionately defending their patch of Astroturf across from me. Their capitalist compound was a cross between a miniature golf course and child’s playhouse. The lynchpin was a green tunnel you could crawl through. After enquiring of the fun-factor I was matter-of-factly informed that the tunnel “doesn’t go anywhere.”

I was amused by the human screen saver of sporadic traffic walking back and forth on the concourse infront of me. I found entertainment by commentating mid-song on the crazily dressed youths, some wearing inflatable balloon hats resembling cabaret gypsy fruit, cowprint onesies, oranges superhero capes and an Argentinean flag. After spying a procession of students pushing food trolleys I declared: “you know all these people are stealing stuff – there’s no barbecue, it’s just that easy to wheel stuff out of here. Look, there goes a bloke with a television, stolen straight out of a classroom. Stealing’s never been easier, just pick up and armful of whatever you want, and carry it out like you know what you’re doing.”

Things turned mock-ugly during Northcote. A meek Korean photographer in an orange vest crouched down into position when I exploded like a gas barbecue.
“Nah man you can’t take my photo, that was in my contract, seriously, put that away!” I snarled in hipster accent. He peered at his camera for a moment and put it back up to his eye.
“What are you doing seriously dude you take that photo and you could be fined for breach of contract. I’m very specific about this.” A beefier Asian dude pulled up and got out his iphone. I gave him the same tirade, receiving the finger as he walked off. I threatened to throw a cart of glasses at him, being pushed by a lunch lady, cruising past my zen people stream.
“He’ll have to get it off me first” she told no-one in particular, stoically defiant of her cart, regardless of the authenticity of the showbiz pantomime she had perforated. I simmered down and returned to the song. A verse later sneaky orange vest was sitting back with his crew drawing the camera up to his face. I threw down my pick in disgust.
“Look man just because you’re in the distance doesn’t mean I can’t see you. I’m not blind. What do you think I’m like eighty years old with cataracts?”
Part of doing the lame-douche character is coming up with that kind of lame-douche taunt.

The thing about performing at these uni o-week things is that in the same breath that you’re introduced by the MC, he’s also telling people to get on over to the Uni Bar for the breakdancing competition in ten minutes. It’s a great leveller, and at no other time are you reminded of the fact that all you are is an entertainment service provider, providing a service like everyone else, from the union staff serving sausages to the rowing club president drinking shots off an oar. During a quieter song I was annoyed by the “popcorn people” next door. They were promoting something – goodness knows – maybe an iphone Chlamydia swab, with free popcorn in a cone. I knew I couldn’t compete with that. It doesn’t take a mathematician or a sociologist to calculate the aggregate net social worth of a free cone of popped corn versus a word-heavy novelty b-side no-one asked for. Even if I played Northcote on loop and put out a bowl of Clinkers I’d still be breaking even. When they started playing ‘Barbara Streisand’ over their tinny speakers I ripped out my guitar lead and marched over for a considered yet friendly neighbourhood chat.
“Can you guys turn that off? I’m trying to entertain” said the pale yet muscular sad/angry busker clown with clip on sunglasses.

The Lipton Ice Tea brigade watched it all through 19 year old irony-free eyes and plotted a counter attack. As soon as I’d finished my set, three girls got up to do a ‘Sparkle Motion’ esque dance routine. I wanted to set fire to myself, but instead took a free Shick razor from the stand of 400 and put it in the bin on the way to the toilet.

Later in the day I played a second set with my band, The Awkwardstra. We approached the stage to soundcheck but were blocked off by the All-Female All-Japanese self-defence society putting the demon in demonstration. Happiness is being trapped side of stage looking out over a crowd 800% bigger than the one you had watching two girls scream like tennis players as they roundhouse kick each other in the scorching noonday sun. I considered hijacking the event, stripping down to my boxers and karate chopping my guitar in half. “It’s good for my self esteem” I’d scream before burying my face in a popcorn cone and hiding in the Lipton tunnel until the Vice Chancellor dragged me out by the fringe.

Still scorned by the Lipton girls’ morally degrading display I turned to bassist Nature Boy Hazel and whispered “tell them The Bedroom Philosopher is going to do a presentation for Birds Eye Chips.” I hurried down onto the concourse and after receiving Nature Boy’s introduction, pulled up my tshirt and waddled from side to side in a sexually childlike way while reciting a sordid poem. “ooh birds eye in my grill / ooh I want more I know I will” The doe eyed students seemed far more understanding of my marketing parody than any material I’d presented thus far. The mentioning of a consumable was an audio pacifier for the gen-I media-mites, happy to save time by not questioning the things that made them and the world surface-happy.

I tried to think of an event that would force this lot of screenagers to protest 60’s style. Maybe the University banning Facebook, even then, it would be an online protest, held in a chat room. NO NEED FOR CAPITAL LETTERS, WHAT KIND OF ANIMALS ARE YOU? sorry master.

Song song. Band Band. Underrated genius. Underrated genius. I tried an acoustic version of ‘Barbara Streisand’ in a desperate attempt to connect with the possibly good looking clump of girls wearing promotional aprons and viking hats in the gazeboed horizon, but felt the cool blade of drummer Mad-Dog Rabinovici holding a free Shick razor to my throat. Gordo doused him with lipton ice tea and we regained our composure.

During New Media the Rowing Society made their third noisy entrance to the concourse for the day, carefully carrying a row of shots on one of their oars and proudly announcing that they were going to knock them all back. I instantly despised this and told them as much.
“Nah man” they protested. “We’re doing this for you.” I could see the weary underlings had brought the exotic liquors and paddling stick as a sacrifice to me, and was somewhat satiated. I could not however, douse the pilot of rage at the flamboyant display of idolisation for these damaging drugs, in a day that had already been suffocated by corporate greed and intellectual apathy.
“Oh yeah” I screamed, putting the guitar down. “Let’s celebrate the miracle drug of alcohol that’s been linked to over 50, 000 deaths in this country each year and kills more people than cigarettes and drug use combined. It’s all fun and games now but where are you in twenty years when you’ve lost your wife and kids sitting bloated and pock-marked in the corner of your one bedroom flat crying into your warm can of Tooheys Red at ten in the morning?”
A smattering of applause (my band mates trying to get the attention of the mental health officer) fuelled me on and I took refuge on the drumkit, playing a Queen ‘we will rock you’ type beat on kick and snare while ranting about the fact my Uncle Nigel died from alcoholism in his mid-forties.


On a positive note, a very lovely girl from the Linguistics Society sidled up to me earlier in the day to request ‘A.C.R.O.N.Y.M.P.H.O.M.A.N.I.A.C.’ I asked what went on at her linguistics meetings. “Games of Scrabble mostly.” Her request, and the knowledge of her club filled my spirits with love and respect for mankind.

We finished our set and the supercheese MC shimmied on stage. The 40 strong crowd clapped with the intensity of 50. “How about an encore from the Bedroom Philosopher!” Enthused the MC. I checked my watch and with dark glasses still on strolled over to the mic.
“We are not contractually obliged to perform any more entertainments.”

Nature Boy later told me he’d heard a couple of students walk past, watch me for a bit, say ‘Hey I really like this guy’ and keep walking.

After selling no merch, I found a Mentos lolly on the ground and padded over to the Lipton compound and crawled into the tunnel entrance. I could see what they meant. The tunnel didn’t go all the way, it was sealed off after half a meter. It was just the idea of a tunnel. I clambered out and sat next to a big rock on the corner of the lawn. The surface looked scuffed and shiny. It was made of plastic. I gazed at the edges of astro turf and pulled out my iphone, running my fingers over its course rubber cover. It was a replication of a cassette tape. It was like holding a seashell, pretty in its own way but devoid of life. Over the speakers came the smooth compressed thump of ‘Barbara Streisand.’ The bulk of this song is a Boney-M sample from the 70’s; the beat would be too slow and thin to dance to today. On the ground next to me was a smattering of trodden popcorn, the ultimate puff food, no real sustenance. Next to it, a puddle of Iced tea, the idea of tea made more consumable with the extraction of heat. A girl walked passed and handed me a Shick razor, a device intended to gentrify the human form, airbrush it from its course, savage features.



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