Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Human kindness, the milk of

In response to some recent comments that the BC is getting too nasty, whingey and ranty (hello, that IS the point, actually) I have decided to give all you whingeing sucks a heartwarming story illustrating human kindness, that will lift your spirit and make you weep with joy for the inherent goodness of humans.

I will then end with a a nasty, whingey rant. So there's something for everyone, really.

Regular BC readers and friends will know that I took a trip to the orient in January this year and drank my way through Vietnam for two weeks (you can read all about my Hanoi hangovers here). Apart from all the drinking and eating, the trip also involved a fairly decent amount of shopping, which almost resulted in me having to sell half my luggage at Hong Kong airport just to get home. Fortunately, the gods of travel smiled upon me and I managed to bluff my way onto the flight without paying for the 20kg excess I was carrying (and that was just on my arse from all the Pho).

Anyway, back in Hanoi. It was the last night of my holiday, and I had gone nuts buying cushion covers and table runners. Cushion covers in Vietnam are the bees-effing-knees - silk and velvet and embroidered and just gorgeous, gorgeous, GORGEOUS. I knew that when I got home my living room would also be the bees-effing-knees. Except that I stupidly left all my purchases in a DVD shop before retiring to my hotel.

"Bugger" was a word that sprang to mind.

I returned the next morning only to find the shop shut. Surprise surprise. I had an hour before I had to catch my plane home, so I enlisted the help of the woman in the shop next door, who I had been teaching random English phrases two days earlier when I bought a lamp (2 kilos), and she helpfully agreed to break into the shop for me and let me in to find my bag. I'm not kidding. I broke in like a gypsy, looked around, came out empty handed and decided another gypsy had probably taken my stuff, and good luck to them.

I left my address and email with my hotel staff and asked them to pass it on to the DVD man if he should know the whereabouts of my gorgeous cushion covers, and fully expected them to file it under B for "bin". Or whatever "bin" is in Vietnamese. After returning home I received one email saying the DVD man did indeed have my cushions and wanted to return them to me but couldn't afford it. No amount of plain english emails from me could make them understand that I would pay for the postage, if they would only tell me how much it was. In the end I just gave up, and figured the DVD man was probably already enjoying kicking back in his gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous loungeroom.

Six months later, when I had forgotten all about it, I received a parcel in the mail from a stranger in Victoria. And inside - my delightful cushions and table runner. Imagine my surprise when I read the card (yes, a CARD! Not just a crap note, but a card, with a painting of birds on it!):

Dear PetStarr,
I was recently in Hanoi, where I visited a DVD shop in the old town, where the proprietors asked me to bring home your shopping - and here it is!
Best regards,
Jock Burns
(And no, I'm not being funny, that is his real name).

In a state of shock, I rang him up to thank him and offered to pay for the postage, to which he replied "Don't worry about that love. I've travelled all over the world and other people have always helped me out, so just pass the favour on to someone else."

WHAT A COMPLETE AND UTTER LEGEND AND ALL ROUND GOOD HUMAN. It just makes you rethink your plan of machine-gunning the entire human race, doesn't it? I mean, look how great these cushions are.

Shiny and good

And so, a champagne salute to Jock Burns to conclude the feel-good part of this story. And another salute to Hung, the lovely DVD man who kept my stupid shopping for six whole months just to get it back to me. If you're ever in Hanoi, I recommend you buy your DVDs from the shop on Hang Hanh St in the old quarter.

Now, shotgun that champers, sweethearts, because we're about to stalk into the den of the bitch.

A few weeks ago I found a brand spanking new mobile phone in the backseat of a taxi. Having been the victim of mobile theft before, and being a pretty honest and lovely person in general, I took the phone in with me and waited for it to ring so I could find out who owned it and give it back to them.

It rang, and some girl announced that the phone was hers. I announced that I had found it, and wasn't she lucky. She actually didn't seem to give a shit and said she'd pick the phone up the next day. This surprised me, given that if I had left my phone in the back of a taxi and was fortunate enough to get it back, I would probably marry whoever had found it AND bake them a cake AND give them my first born child (not to mention get my arse to their place QUICK to pick it up the same night, before they had a chance to look through all my stuff)(not that I did that)(OK, OK, so I did, whatever).

At any rate, this chick called me at about midday the next day (when she'd rolled her fat, hungover arse out of bed)(yes, I know she was fat because I looked through her mobile photos)(well you would, wouldn't you?)(I AM nice, I swear) and told me she was coming to get her phone. Which was rather inconvenient because I was heading out to lunch. NOT TO WORRY, I said, I am SO considerate and nice that I will wrap your phone up and put it in my letterbox, so you can come by and pick it up whenever you like. "Great" she said, sounding like she'd be more excited if I perhaps left her a piece of cake in the letterbox instead.

Off I went to lunch, feeling like a real good samaritan and extra pleased that I had done as the illustrious Jock Burns of Victoria had commanded - to pass the charity on to another, and keep the good karma circulating throughout the world.

As I drove home, the altruistic nature of my good deed started to dissolve as I began to wonder what present or card would be left in place of the mobile in my letterbox. I thought maybe I'd get a small box of servo choccies, or a handwritten note.

Imagine my surprise when I lifted the lid and saw ABSOLUTELY FUCK ALL. That's right, NOTHING. My good deed had been rewarded with an empty metal box.

Cue rant. WHAT KIND OF PERSON doesn't leave a thank you card in this situation? A card would have been nice, a present even better, but failing both of those - HOW ABOUT JUST A NOTE SAYING THANKS? I don't care what you write it on - the back of a receipt from your wallet, an old parking ticket, a dirty tissue - but for GOD'S SAKE have some MANNERS!

I should have just kept the phone, chanting "What goes around comes around, beeyatch".

Anyway, if anyone knows a fat chick from somewhere in the northern suburbs who likes to do acid and hang out at The Village Tavern and (according to her text messages) has an impossible relationship with someone called Craig who got her phone back from someone who found it in a taxi, remind her that karma will punish her for her lack of manners. Come to think of it, her life as it stands is probably punishment enough.

I still wish I'd kept the phone.


  1. Re travel story: Awww, I got all goosebumpy.. Its nice when people doo a good deed, huh!
    Re Fat bitch: Well, you can't win them all I guess. Meh.

  2. great story however those cushions are gross. what is the deal with chicks and cushions? whats wrong with a nice couch? why does there have to be gigantic cushions all over it.

    anyway you can have that rant for free.

    ps whats with all the office and arrested development stuff down the side of yr blog?

  3. Matt, you clearly have no taste in home furnishings so I'm not bothered by your rant. :)

    As for the quotes - Arrested Development and The Office crack me up, and I needed something to fill in the gap on the left side of the page, so I figured they'd do nicely.

  4. Years ago, whenever I found a phone, I would keep it, sell it or give it away.
    My karma was pretty bad.
    So then I would keep it a day, if no one called I would give it to someone. No profit = good karma, right?
    So then I would use my own phone to call every number on the damn thing (most have no credit) until such a time as there was no chance of returning it and THEN I would keep it, sell it, give it away.
    Then my phone was stolen and when I called it, the stealer answered and LAUGHED at me.
    So now, they have two hours to call their own phone, then its free game, karma be damned.
    Wallets are a different story again.
    Yes, I have in fact found A LOT of phones. A LOT.

  5. Oh yeah and at the risk of being smacked out for using the word "phat", your cushions are phat. Good find.

  6. i hate to be a stiff but i should warn y'all that keeping a mobile phone is acutally unlawfull posession and punishible by a court o' law. so next time you do, think about being von einmens (eminems?) butty boy. think about THAT!

  7. anonymous here again

    your - "i'll do a good deed and get something in return.. " - attitude is crap

    you did something good, well fucking HOO RAH ! don't you deserve a pat on the back, or a Praise PetStarr Day or a fucking pony.

    besides that, i liked the cushion post.

  8. What's that I can smell..? Is it.. yes, yes, I think it is...the LACK OF A SENSE OF HUMOUR. Christ, would you lighten up? And I wasn't asking for "a fucking pony" (I think you can buy them on the internet anyway), just a god damn note. Or a phone call, you know, since she had my number and address. Anyone who fails to do either of those things in her situation is plain rude. Ruder than me, you'd have to admit.

  9. I too bought metcha products in Vietnam but recently discovered that I had absolutely no concept of style when designing and purchasing them. They have since been donated to the op shop, where they go to wait for a woman of less discerning taste.

    Meanwhile (and I hate to bust in on your right of reply here petstarr) but anonymous - your - "too scared to sign your own name" - attitude is not only crap but also lame. In case you hadn't noticed, there IS an identity other option that allows you to write "fuckstick" in the name space.

  10. That first story is lovely, petstarr.

    As for the second, I suppose you couldn't expect too much after the initial response you got from her.

    Keep on giving out the good karma though. It's not about getting 'rewards', it's about giving.

  11. [Meanwhile (and I hate to bust in on your right of reply here petstarr) but anonymous - your - "too scared to sign your own name" - attitude is not only crap but also lame. In case you hadn't noticed, there IS an identity other option that allows you to write "fuckstick" in the name space.]

    Um, "Audrey", careful luv, you're not using you're real name either...

  12. Neither are you Lexx...not your real, proper one. Neither for that matter is petstarr. But at least there is a link to all of our sites where anyone we criticise may come and abuse us freely or just read what we have to say and hence judge whether or not they like/hate it enough to consider our initial opinions valid.

  13. I agree with you petstarr I woul dalso have been mightly annoyed! The least the chick could have done was pop a thank you note in the post, either when she picked up the phone or later, it's not like she didn't have your address!

    I once left my wallet in Hudson's and didn't realise until 4 hours later. I thought I would never see it again (including the $100) but still walked over to Hudson's.

    Much to my surprise they had my wallet (and the $100), I thanked them for 10 bloody minutes, even though another coffee patron had handed it up (if they were still around I would have thanked them for 10 minutes and bought them a coffee to say thanks).

    When my mobile phone was stolen I got a nice bill with $50 worth of calls to 1900 numbers! I tried phoning but the bugger who had it wouldn't pick up.

  14. Point 1 - I feel sorry for Anonymous - what if that is actually their christened name? Major headfuck when his/her parents decided that Anonymous Smith was a good idea.

    Point 2 - PetStarr does deserve a pony, so boo hoo to whoever said she didn't

    Point 3 - Those pillow case are awful! I can't believe Jock Burns brought them back instead of a mail order bride (which, when your 76 years old, is the only real reason you'd be in Vietname, surely)

  15. You should have taken a house brick to her mobile, THEN put it in the letterbox.
    Ungrateful twat.

  16. Ah yes Audrey, but you were criticising the man for being anonymous and I was not.

  17. Yes. I was. And I justified it perfectly well. Matter closed.

  18. i just want to stress that i am first anonymous, but not the second one! i hate the second one!! especially cos they said "anonymous here again" which made it sound like it is me...

    as kevin kline says in "a fish called wanda" - "aaaaaaaashooooooooooolllllllllle"


  19. Good story.

    The lack of rewards/thanks from the mobile phone girl is just plain weak.

    p.s. I think the AR & Office quotes are an excellent addition to your blog.

  20. When most people tell stories of their mobile going missing, it is usually accommpanied with anger because the schmuck who picked it up has racked up a huge bill.

    I personally would be somewhat grateful that I had the phone back sans overseas phone calls, and would thank my lucky stars.

    I think this ungrateful prat EXPECTED her phone back, and didn't realise how lucky she was that Petstarr is Human Kindness, The Milk Of...