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Getting Britney Speared, Splash

The Amber Fresh Chronicles

Getting Britney Speared, Splash

Andrew Ryan

hello. two times in my little world today some songs were used for strange purposes. i was riding on my blue and white bike back home after the radio show, where we talked about year ones playing aussi-rules football, my niece as the only little girl on the field amongst a big sea of little boys, and about “swan smugglers” being an alternate version of “budgie smugglers” if you have a big package. overseas readers can look up “budgie smugglers” on the internet to know what it means.

so i was riding home, making my legs pump like a boss, with patterned woollen pants from my friend the artist who’s in berlin. gee i hope she meets up with my internet friend in berlin. his name is john c judd and he had a band called ‘mom and son’ where him and his mum would do great simple lo-fi rock music together. you can’t look them up on the internet cos there are too many moms and sons in the world.

anyway so i was riding my bike along the street, thinking of phytophthora (that’s a plant pathogen), and then i got britney speared! being britney speared is when guys drive by in their beaten up white car, whooping, and smoking cigarettes and playing ‘hit me baby one more time’ really loud out the windows. it all happens in just a few split seconds, like your life flashing by, so much detail in such a tiny amount of time, but you have time to notice the car, notice the men, start dancing along as you ride, realise what song it is, start singing along, hear the guys singing along and yelling at you, keep dancing on your bike, get a big smile, watch the car drive off in a cloud of greatness around the corner. this is all in about four seconds, and the fifth second is taken to think “ha! that’s my favourite thing that happened today, 8am.”

later in the day i was sitting at the kitchen table, working on some transcriptions of newspaper articles from the nineteen hundreds. i messaged my friend craig for music suggestions, just nothing electronic cos i was feeling organic, but before he answered i picked nirvana, in utero. i wonder what kurt would think of me using his music to make me type faster, transcribing articles about temperance and socialism and people getting jerky in their ‘letters to the editor’ as people always tend to do.

the main jerkiness i thought about this week though was people booing at the end of a band competition when the winner was called. even good people can sometimes be bad sportsmen on behalf of their team… it’s not the worst thing in the world, but it’s something that can go, i reckon. “half price shit stuff in life” sale – sell it off and say goodbye forever. see, we’re all one, so band competitions are just about everyone winning, all the time.

when i got to be a judge of the last stage of the game, the semi final, the lights all on, the people all there, and the judges all in a higgledy row up the back, it was a great time. one of the men’s partners got into a deep discussion with me – mainly in between the bands because she was respectful of the whole process and i was taking it all seriously – and within a few minutes i found out her dad isolated the dieback pathogen – phytophthora – the one pathogen in the world that i’m a little obsessed with. what are the chances? well, in this life, pretty good. luck, unluck. pellucid meaning, cloudy meaning. pellucid apple juice, cloudy apple juice.

hmm… also, i dreamed i was on the coast in dorset, comparing the way the waves and the swell move against the rocks against how this happens in my own home in albany, western australia, and then today i got mail from dorset, from someone who’s listening to all the music from our town, all the great music, winning all the time because it’s like a pass the parcel and every layer has a treat, and the parcel just gets bigger and bigger rather than smaller and smaller. smuggling pretty much a whole zooey menagerie down our little patterned woollen pants.

p.s. “splash” is the classic way to end a haiku, just ask the japanese writer Basho. a splash is more like applause than booing. booing is an underground sound, meant to stay under the earth like oil.