May 18, 2010

Dinky DIY’s Guide to Australian Literature

We’re championing culture, here, Dinky DIYers! Australiana is not just about bogans and beer bottles, racists and riots, meat and mullets. Let’s celebrate our southern hemispherian, up-side-down nation’s own literary canon. Put on your aprons and get ready to hit reverse on this cultural vacuum.


Early attempts by Australian writers took to faking the English style and were obsessed with the weirdness of this new landscape. Probably because most writers were shrewdly pitching at a British audience in the hope they would do well there and be invited back home with more welcome than they were shipped off.

Our first literary foray as a nation was a challenge taken up by Tasweigian convict. Quintus Servinton: A Tale founded upon Incidents of Real Occurrence by Henry Savery was published in 1831.

His biography begins with an outstanding, historical example of Australian logic where he’s sentenced to the Van Dieman’s Land colonies from England for white collar forgery and appointed in a government service position in the Colonial Treasurer’s office upon his arrival.

Following which, he dabbled as frequently in writing as he did in crime and seems to have struggled to succeed at either. All in all, I’d say his erratic life paints a somewhat un-savery picture. (ah yes, yes I did.) Yet, he was moved to thinly disguise an autobiography behind a silly little tale about a convict a lot like himself but better which, in A Bride Stripped Bare move, he attempted to published anonymously. Everyone found out and he got in some trouble. Colonial reviews were quite glowing but then, it was our very first book in history, meaning nothing much to compare it to then, right?

As Wikipedia rather drolly puts it, “It is generally agreed that his writing is more important for its historical value than its literary merit.” He may or may not have died in 1842 after cutting his own throat which seems a strange detail for us not to have certainty on but such were the mad, bad days of the wild early colonies.
Son of a feisty, literary suffragette-of-sorts , Henry Lawson (1867-1922) is Australia’s Hemingway... kinda. Depressive, deaf, drunkard, bad husband, neglectful father, oft-imprisoned, university drop-out, rebel republican, roaming ballardist for the beloved Bulletin, he nonetheless has been immortalised on our $10 note and was sent off with a state funeral for being a “distinguished citizen.”

But none so well admired, from our early days, as Lawson’s more romantically-inclined, Banjo Paterson (1864-1941.) We are a sentimental bunch when we want to be, and collectively melt into our vinyl, suburban armchairs when we hear this poet’s wistful words, conjuring the embers of campfires and wild, roguish bush-lore.

You can have your Hogwarts, your Faraway Trees and Wonderful World of Disneys… I have two words for you Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Yep. That’s how we roll down-under. Happy homunculi otherwise known as the “gumnut babies” who burst onto the scene with their bushwhacking adventures escaping the villainous Banksia Men during the Armistice celebrations of 1918, and have never been out of print since.


Here we can see for miles and miles... Yes, Miles Franklin, the Aussie carrying on the tradition of popular female novelists assuming male names, penned My Brilliant Career. In 1937, Franklin thumbed the poms who loved the book and rejected an Order of the British Empire but came to fear that nothing she wrote would match its success and resorted to publishing behind the veil of many nom de plumes including the bizarre pseudonym Brent of Bin Bin, for fear of scathing reviews comparing her newer work to her opus. When she died in 1954 she left literature Down Under an annual literary award known as The Miles Franklin Award.


Our first and only Australian to be granted the Nobel Prize for Literature was an oasis of creativity in a desert of spaghetti cowboy pulp fiction. 1973 Australia was in the grip of Gough but its people were still a tough crowd. Before that he had been the first winner of the Miles Franklin Award for Voss. Ah, the blinding brilliance of Patrick White. He was awarded the prize for "an epic and psychological narrative art, which has introduced a new continent into literature" and sent Sidney Nolan to Stockholm to collect the prize on his behalf. Clearly he was busy that day.

Aussie authors have picked up the knack of dropping their Anglo appellations for rather more exotic titles. These ethnic impersonators are suspected of being motivated by a preference in the local publishing industry for indigenous and ethnic minority voices. Some notable controversies swelled around this list:

  • Wanda Koolmatrie (aka Leon Carmen)
  • Ern Malley (aka James McAuley and Harold Stewart)
  • Eddie Burrup (aka Elizabeth Durack)
  • Helen Demidenko (aka Helen Darville)
Look ‘em up... the fraudsters.

March 25, 2010

Dinky DIY’s Complete Guide To Smoking

Oscar Wilde : Do you mind if I smoke?

Sarah Bernhardt: I don’t care if you burn.

Ah the smoker, that timeless neurotic who fills vacuous moments in time with the deeply inhaled serenity of curling white smoke. Like little puffing chimney’s leaning against office towers or gathered like communist peasants against the chill on the pavements outside nightclubs. Take a deep breath, dear Dinkster, for herein lies the secret’s of this exclusively doomed club. Stick this in your pipe and smoke it.

Got A Light?

It was once the perfect beginning of a beautiful (albeit short?) life together, though the cigarette light pick up trick is quickly going out of vogue. These days, in these parts at least, an indulgent drag on a fine tailor-made is a habit banned from all the classic meat-markets; nightclubs, airplanes, piano bars, hotel lobbies and restaurants. It seems the powers that be would have a girl beg for a lights on the footpath and you know what that makes you look like.... If your budget allows for cross-continental prowls there are still plenty of opportunities for a smoker in the discotechs of the former USSR or shopping centres of the middle east. But for those with overflowing ashtrays by their laptops, now you can find sour-breathed romance from the comforting fug of your own flat with websites like this . Meet a fellow durrymuncher and make asthmatic babies together for when there’s smoke there’s the fires of passion .

They smoke cigarettes professionally. The smoke is inhaled very sharply and the teeth are bared.
Then the head turns to give you a profile and the smoke is exhaled slowly and deliberately and the grey jet stream becomes a beautiful blue cloud of smoke.
What are they trying to tell us?

- Jeffrey Bernard, Spectator, 1982

Screw me.

That’s what they are saying; or maybe screw you. Whatever the message, it’s packing heat. Jerry Seinfeld laughed at smokers for thinking themselves superior due to their mastery over flame, “Smoke and fire is literally coming right out of my mouth” and it’s not exactly breaking news that smoking has always been symbolic with bad-asses and sex fiends. Oral fixations... phallic obsessions...smoking fetishists (or those who subscribe to capnolagnia as it’s called) might put a whole new spin on blowing smoke but is there a hidden meaning in these smoke signals? DinkyDIY thinks not, even Freud admitted, “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” But then... that was before Monica Lewinsky.

Big Tobacco

Farmed with roots mingled in slave blood and growing rich on the asthmatic wheeze of school kiddies, the all time bad boys rule Big Tomacco. Remember the “Seven dwarves” (‘Ahh believe nic-o-tine is not aaahhhdictive’ in their evil southern drawls.)

Learn the subtle genius of reverse hypothesis.

Smokin’ Hot

Cigarettes and coffee has long been reknown as the breakfast of champions and I know I don’t need to draw the dots for you brainiacs, between the very obvious correlation with smoking and supermodels. Even Nobel Prize winner, Obama, is having trouble quitting the fags. It’s kind of a nice thought that these shiny, beautiful creatures are in the desperate grips of an addiction out of control. That they too, tape plastic cups over smoke detectors in hotel toilets to get a bump of nictotine. They that have picked through the soggy remnants of morning-after ashtrays and smoked butt ends to delay the hung-over trek to the petrol station. And it makes it easier to quit. Attractive people start smoking because it makes them look cool. Acknowledge you are neither attractive, nor cool and that fagging on will only worsen your shortcomings in these areas. You will down those cancer sticks quick smart.

This might help.

What’s Your Poison

The Oracle of Omaha, Warren Buffet, has always backed Big Tobacco. He reasons a product like this can’t fail when it has such powerful brand loyalty. Benson & Hedges took their dull brand up a notch when they went gold, The Malboro Man (and all the dead models who played him) symbolised rugged masculinity but what does your brand say about you...?

Sobranie Cocktails like magical pastel coloured gelato-scoops of cancer this brand is Neverland shit and definitely = Transvesite recently returned from Asia

Cuban stogeys = God Complex

Malboro Reds = Wanna-be rockstar/Borderline Emo

Alpine Menthols = Desperate Housewife. Goes perfectly with a cheap glass of Chardy

Winnie Blues = Tradesperson/May have participated in the Cronulla Riots draped in an Aussie flag

Champion Ruby/Drum Blue Tobacco = Pothead/Backpacker

Longbeach = With mega-economy packs like these, you’re probably on the wheezy wait list for a new lung.

Breathe easy, dinskters.

November 21, 2009

DIY Voodoo &Vengeance

Things are heating up in the Antipodes and it’s making my blood boil.... Be sure to wear your gris-gris.

That’s right folks, I’m itchin’ for a witchin’ and there be fools steppin’ on my toes. Takin’ liberties, pushin’ my buttons and I know you feel me when I say it’s time for a reckoning. It’s time for some healthy retribution.

So button up pack your road rage into that soul pocket for a moment (the one that turns into cancer if you don’t keep an eye on it) because we have stumbled upon a new ways to vent your spleen.

Dinky DIY's Manual on Voodoo & Vengeance:

Louisiana Ouanga:

Rootwork is the hoodoo term for one that cooks up potions and powders from herbs and roots. How’s your veggie garden going? I don’t need to tell you the old laxative in the coffee trick or putting wee flowers (dandelions) under the object of your wrath’s pillow at night but you may very well be unaware of the old potions relied upon by witchdoctors of the Caribbean to drive the message home. The idea is you make a little pouch filled with a wicked ingredients which your victim must merely touch to begin the curse.

Marie Laveau apparently sealed her sought after charm pouch’s with dragon’s blood ink, fetching hefty prices from the fearful believers. Remember, only an odd number of ingredients and never more than 13 items.

Recipe for Goofer Dust (this one brings on serious trouble for one’s enemy ... so be careful!)

  • Graveyard dirt
  • Black salt
  • Ground sulfur
  • Snake skin
  • Magnetic sand
  • Dried pigeon poo

Blow on the bag to activate the magick!

Consult your grimoire for good stockists.

Blood Feud:
Nemo Me Impune Lacessit

When you play with fire, you’re bound to get burnt, dear readers. Which is why one must keep one’s nose out of crazy tribal madness at all times. Familial, tribal and gang vendettas can be a messy business and nobody wants to be the mopper... or the mopped?! Leave all that business down in Melbourne where it belongs, I say, and learn to play nice like the Samurais did . Stay classy, friends, air kiss while you twist that knife in their backs and sweetly smile while stirring poison. If things start to get really bad, just be sure you have a sexy yellow jumpsuit onhand.

Oh Poppets!
You remind me of the babe
(What babe?)
Babe with the power
(What power?)
Power of voodoo
(Who do?)
You do
(Do what?)

Remind me of the babe

Poppets are the original voodoo dolls (these dolls actually have no place in the Haitian/West African Voodou religions) originating in Europe as little sympathetic magic outlets for ill-intentions. But unless you have a stray Barbie kicking around, who has time to rustle up twigs and wax for this exacting form of punishment. Not us, Dinksters! We are busy people of the world and that’s why I have scoured the interwebz to bring you the 21st Century solution – Virtual Voodoo Doll. Get clicking.

Beat of A Tell Tale Heart:
"And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life, Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot..." Exodus 21:23

Nothing sends the message clearer than a rumbling beat of doom. Bongos, clapping sticks or stomping feet work quite well. In the office, batterie maconnique can be simulated with the ear-drum piercing frustration of a fax-line repeatedly harassing one’s landline. Set your fax to try 15 times then call our enemy’s direct number. Then go calmly about your day knowing with each ring, their nerves are fraying slight more and more.

Weapon of Choice:
"Revenge is sweet and not fattening." [Alfred Hitchcock]

They do say revenge is a dish best served cold but how about undead?
In Haitian voodoo culture, zombification is a specialised vengeance punishment for wrongdoers but in Westernised cultures everyone wants instant gratification, seeing results now now now... you know,
Bobbit-style . There are different styles, some procrastinate a la Hamlet or they might gloat like the nutjobs at Revenge Lady. Some folks like to see others in pain, bloodied horse heads on pillows and the such, others seek swift retribution. For more information, speak to the professionals ... or watch more cartoons, Sylvester and Tweetie, Tom and Jerry, Itchy and Scratchy, Wiley Coyote and Roadrunner.... plenty of inspiration.

Screw karma, give ‘em what’s coming!

October 18, 2009

Wadda Wippoff Or Dinky DIY’s Guide to Dodging Cons

Greetings infidels.

Penny pinching is du jour in these GFC (Gotta find cash? Get fricken covered?) times bringing out the recessionista in everyone.

Basically the rich have been just dying for an opportunity to be out, loud and proud about tight-arsed behaviour and the flurry of middle class blogs penned around frugal chic is testament to that.

Now, we at Dinky DIY say more power to you! The Machine is a constantly scheming engine that is churning out new and breathtakingly cheeky ways to rip us all off, so we say give it back to ‘em.

Here are some classic rip offs so you can spot them a mile away.

Bottled Water: Evian can suck it. Seriously what the eff, people? What do you pay water rates for? It’s flowing freely through your faucets and you just can’t wait to dash out and buy some more blue-lidded landfill. Oh waaah, it tastes metallic. Cry me a river, you pansies. Harden up and dilute it with scotch.

Diamonds: Show me the carbon and I’ll show you the diamonds. Tons of them, mate, scattered around everywhere but just try and sell them and you will have a serious encounter on your hands. Enter DeBeers (cue evil laugh). Yep those buggers have made it their business to suppress diamond supply and squeeze out competition for yonks, so that you are serving up three times your monthly salary to snare the heart of your darling. The woman who coined the ultra successful “Diamonds Are Forever” line, didn’t ever get married because she knew that it was all just a line.

Farmers Markets & The Organic Food Con: Yes, of course you feel better after you have eaten sausages that cost you $6 a snag or a slice of $8 bread. That’s because you’re a yuppie; all smug and superior when you see others at the lunch table content with their glutinous, processed, pesticided white bread making their children ADHD or hyper-allergic or whatever and giving them ulcers and cancers and what not. But rest easy, most of those fancy pants delis and farmers markets have free tastings, so if you’re fast and relatively inconspicuous, you can tour around stocking up on upmarket treats without parting with a cent.

Gym Membership: Flabby McFlabFlab went to the gym, the peach-buttocked girls sold a dream to him, “$49 a month and sure thing you’ll be thin! Don’t read the fine print – just sign here and win.” And the chubby fool copped it all with a grin.

The Secret : Spoiler alert! I’ll save you the time and dosh and let the big fat secret out of the bag for free... you are in control of you. Oooohhh myyyyy goooooodddddd. Reeeeevvvveeellllaaattionn. That is unless, of course, you have already begun reading the books and watching the DVDs. Then you are not in control. You are being brainwashed by the some geniuses who got high distinctions in Marketing 101. If you really want to lose your grip, why not look into Turning Point ?

Stay ahead of the game, gumdrops.

October 2, 2009

I Had A Dream OR Dinky DIY’s Guide To Dream Interpretation

And in my slumber, deepest deep,
Visions come, the sins of sleep.

Oooh yes, dinksters, be wary. My troubled mind is conjuring madness in restless nights. Muahahahaha. Don’t know if it had something to do with the vegetarian tacos that were gulped down during a movie marathon which included Pretty In Pink, A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream and Dogma, but last nights’ dream was a doozy.

Be on your guard for such as this;
Dream Interpretation:
We are such stuff as dreams are made of. -Shakespeare
You know that awesome one where you just take off and begin to fly? Well it means you’re pregnant... or you’re about to die... or you will win lotto... or you’re probably reading too many of those hokey dream interpretation dictionaries. That’s right folks, once upon a time you could just have the naked walking down the street works and it was a healthy outlet for another average Joe dealing with the miserable conformity and isolation of modern life. But now, no! Those dream-reading, hemp-wearing, hair-dreading seers whip up sales by turning something so innocent into something disturbingly compelling. Even Oprah’s on the bandwagon with her dream diary crap. Sheesh, if dreams were meant to be talked about don’t you think we would remember them better?

Sex Dreams:
I dream of genie with the light brown hair ...
– Bugs Bunny (the funniest Wabbit ever.)

There are the ones that put a spring in your step (and a strain in your wrist) and those others that have that unmistakable Eewwwww factor. But just when you were having those gross-out flashbacks and wondering “what is wrong with me???” take heart that you’re not a ‘banditing’ ... or are you?

Famous Dreams:
If I had one dream that could go down in the pages of history it would have to be the one where I had a bitchfight with Maleficent from Snow White... but maybe this is not the fodder of famous dreams. It seems, if I want to be remembered for my nocturnal visions best I get dreaming about fat cows and wearing technicolour dream coats. Sometimes dreams can be handy, like the one Hitler had that warned him to get a wriggle on before he was blown to bits or that scientist, Frederich Kekule, had about the compound of benzene. Others can be darn depressing, like Lincoln’s . They are good for writer’s though, being credited for Shelley’s Frankenstein and King’s Misery.

In The Dreamtime:
Now here I go again, I see the crystal vision
-Stevie Nicks

In this day and age, not many of us get sent off into the wilderness to experience a malnutricianed struggle with poison berries and septicaemic wounds to aid us in our spiritual journey.... but don’t let that stop you from getting your spirit animal on. Dinky DIY does not promote mind altering substances actively (we know you cheeky buggers don’t need encouragement) even though Australia’s own acacia madenii does happen to grow about the place and contains a rather “enhancing” substance in it known as DMT . But tut tut tut, who needs that rubbish when you have the fainting game ?

Sleep tight!

September 23, 2009


Sometimes you've gotta step back and look at the big picture, but sometimes the opposite is true too.

A hazy, throat-choking, nose-tickling cloud descended upon the Australian east coast yesterday turning out glittering harbours and neighbourhoods into Marscapes. Giving everyone the opportunity to focus on what is right in front of them, the over-looked details of your immediate life.

Stop being a whingy ratbag and look on the bright-side, when the expanding horizons are blurred you can stay inside and work on the often neglected little things and regular relationships.

Or not. Suck on your asthma attack.

FYI Things have been worse.


September 9, 2009

Dinky DIYs Guide to Harlots, Whores & Hookers

OR Gettin' Jiggy

Back in Sydney, where sun kissed firm flesh abounds! Whatevs, while I mix myself a pina colada and load up RedTube


Dinky DIYs Guide to Harlots, Whores & Hookers ... y’know, in case you’re job-hunting. Inform yourselves.

The World`s Oldest Profession: During the heyday of Roman orgies, Emperor Claudius‘ naughty younger bride, Messalina, challenged Rome‘s top-billing whore to a sex marathon. Curious about who could hang in there the longest, the match was scheduled and Messalina won after 25 rounds. Atta gal! But all this skirt lifting and streetwalking can come at a price and the terrifying Jack the Ripper was not the first nor last fiend to target working girls for grim ends. Apparently business is also suffering since the economic crisis has hit .

The Happy Hooker: She is Amsterdam`s celebrity daughter of the flesh, Xaviera Hollander. Born like a thousand years ago in the Dutch East Indies she now looks like a really old blow-up doll. She ended up in New York when she was in her 20s working for the Dutch consulate, but when the opportunity to become a $1000 a night call girl popped up… well, Ol' Xaviera wasn't silly, she could do the math. After a year of cashing up, she opened her own brothel and promoted herself to madam of the Vertical Whorehouse and went on to publish her book The Happy Hooker divulging the ins and outs (ehem) of her lifestyle choices.

Working Down Under: Madam Lash, Sydney`s favourite private school educated own dominatrix extroadinaire. Our most notorious S&M artist, sex hedonist and kink-parlour proprietor. Though, she`s getting a bit long in the… tooth these days, Im sure that hasn`t diminished her appeal. These days she can be found hanging out in the Anything Can Happen room of her Palm Beach mansion, painting '4D' portraits of her famous friends and "highly vibrational individuals". Watch out for her next Mardi Gras.

Holy Harlots: Biblical stories are just seething with these misunderstood badgirls, beginning with Lilith . Mythology places her as Adam`s (of Garden of Eden fame) first wife, but her history can be traced to Sumerian legends where the feminine demon Lilitu tormented men with erotic dreams. Anyway, like so many relationships it was sex that broke up this couple of paradisians - ancient Jewish texts state;

Adam and Lilith immediately began to fight. She said, 'I will not lie below,' and he said, 'I will not lie beneath you, but only on top. For you are fit only to be in the bottom position, while I am to be the superior one.' Lilith responded, 'We are equal to each other inasmuch as we were both created from the earth.'

So she flew off and God had to make Adam a new girlfriend. Poor Eve didn`t escape getting a bad rep either, after all, she basically got the blame for all the ills of the world. The Magdalene has been redeemed a bit via Dan Brown, but 2000 is a loooong time for a rumour mill to be cranking against you. But who is the wickedest of them all? Why Jezebel , of course! The original painted lady who welcomed battle by putting on makeup forever earning herself a reputation for being mutton dressed as lamb.

Shakespearean Strumpets: Old Bill had a filthy mouth when he tried and some of the insults one can find in the pages of his works would fuel ripping good arguments for years to come. Shakespeare's Bawdy is a fabulous tribute to the Bard`s command of Elizabethan slang. When it came to whores Shakespeare had no limits to the names he could tarnish a woman with strumpet, slattern, wench, adulteress, temptress, cuckolder, merry wife, debauncherer, stale, doxy and it goes on. Shame he was such a rubbish speller.

September 3, 2009

TECHNOLAGGARDS REJOICE! - Dinky DIY’s Guide to Being a Classy Late-Adopter

Dinky DIY’s Guide to Being a Classy Late-Adopter

Still punching out your SMSs with two hesitant index fingers on spongy rubber buttons, applying careful punctuation? I know its hard being out of the loop when it comes to technology so here’s Dinky DIYs advice for being technologically retarded with dignity...

Book Your Face
There’s nothing sadder than a desperate housewife’s Facebook page filled with the results of the 25 quizzes she’s done since 9 am (No, you are not Elizabeth Bennett, Rita Hayworth or a “Neat Freak”, in fact you are just a bored and possibly drunk woman. Get offline and go watch Oprah.) Nor is there anything more tragic than being dragged through the ups and downs of an indiscreet couple’s constantly changing relationship status. But, there is nothing wrong with quietly slipping into Facebook society. Everyone will add you (your kids, your parents, your boss, your ex) because it is the ultimate popularity contest. Once there, why not stir things up a bit? Don’t tell us how cute your dog is or how great your darling is or how “over it” you are... Tell us the colour of your undies or better yet, that you have decided not to wear any today. Tell us that you have a dull throb in your frontal lobe and can’t recall how last night ended. Come out of the closet!? Anything but the same old crap. Your friends might freak but your neighbour may appreciate the new insight into your twisted mind.

You never liked exercise anyway, right? So why get excited now that some lazy-ass computer game has you stretching and bending in the loungeroom? Because it’s so moronically, mind-numbingly entertaining you might work up a sweat just thinking about it. Just be mindful when seating your guests/co-players that they are scattered around the side and not directly behind where your wobbling arse will be on display when it comes to your turn in Wii Bowling.

Confessions of a Shopaholic
I know it was only that one time, but don’t you wish you hadn’t slipped that lippy up your sleeve down at Priceline all those months ago. Aside from the chat with the shopgirl who busted you (“Ah, madam...” “Oh
thiiiiiiis yes, I wondered if you had it in a lighter shade? No, oh well I’ll just be going.”) being awkward to say the least, now you can’t go back for a cheap Revlon fix. A jolly smear from an Australis tester used to be that little upper you needed during a shopping outing but not anymore. A $3 nail polish to cheer up the afternoon! But alas, they have their eyes on you. Never fear, StrawberryNet is here. Online shopping to your heart’s content. New and FUN ways to max out your credit card from the comfort of your own home.

Chain of Fools
As soon as you open it, you know you should have hit delete and not gone there. The doom saying, damning threats of chain emails. Aside from the disturbing stories of what happens to those who don’t forward on, it’s always a depressing day when it says it must be sent to 10 friends and you realise you only have 6. Don’t be disheartened; channel your energy into penning your own.



Bill Gates will Give 1 BILLION BUCKS to all the HOMELESS & STARVING if you just pass this on and


I never send these things but this one really, super truly works!!! There was once a guy who ignored it and the next day he got on a plane that was heading two New York on the 11th of September 2001 and....


Scroll down

Keep scrolling..........

I swear it’s worth it.

YAY! Good wish (you sicko.)

Now send this to 28 people in your contact list otherwise you will never get laid again.


Also, what are your credit card details, otherwise you better not cross any roads again for the rest of your life or eat any food either or catch any planes or turn on any machines. Basically, if you don’t give me those details it should be safe to say you will live in constant fear and paranoia of the horrific, terrifying and just plain nasty things that could happen to you at any time.