Remote Control


… Rocks and gravel, cut down by otherworldly forces to a barren expanse without form; that never breathes; that has exhausted itself in its abject flatness, never to inspire a living soul.

A line of workers is traversing the ghastly landscape. They have done so every day of their lives. After all, their father had come to these lands as a slave, destined to meet his queen here. To them, the wasteland conveys a deep sense of place – unsettling as it may be to anyone else unfortunate enough to endure the sight of this dismal terrain. The elders selected them to be worthy of the task that this proud band of brothers was formed to fulfil, destined from birth, to carry out the purpose put upon them by their mother. 

From time to time, they look up at the majestic mid-day sky through the kitchen window, blissfully unaware of… bosons.

Borne from a somewhat lofty-sounding process inside our sun, stellar nucleosynthesis, these smallest of particles, existing on the exact edge of space-time, carry a rather tiny and harmless load of energy. Still, the fresnel created by the imperfections in the single sheet of glass will soon bundle a rather large and deathly amount of them, set to fry the unsuspecting, noble workers’ bodies into crisps.

But not today. Darkness – calming, beautiful and cold – is descending upon the landscape…


… I’m taking a closer look. What is going on here?! 

The laminate bench top’s colour was once advertised as ‘White Valencia’. Nice one. Now, 30 years later, it’s more like ‘Kathmandu Cream’. The tacky pattern makes it just a tad harder to spot the bunch of anaemic ants going after it hard in my kitchen – chasing tiny goals. They have no clue how a fresnel lens works. Neither do I, but maybe I can make them think big picture for a change.

I could be their plumed serpent. A god of peace. A civilisation-bringing good. The Quetzalcoatl of Ants, the Dumbledore of Ends – No. I’m no god. I’m a business mentor – and the dog’s bollocks at that. And even though I have just saved their tiny lives; can I save their small business?

Find out on this episode of ‘Very Small Business Nightmares’.

Today, I’m visiting with a small-scale operation, specialising in organic polysaccharide synthesis in the kitchen of my apartment in the heart of Bondi Beach, Sydney. Inspired by the general ‘joy de vie’ at this iconic location, the local team has been hauling ass for the last six months to keep their operation afloat – with varying success.

A quick glance at the employees is sobering. They don’t look so good. Tiny bodies, big, dented heads and so many bags under their eyes… They look like they just robbed a Wal Mart with their faces. 

They are working, yes.
But are they working smart? My ass they are! 

The kitchen staff run a hard knocks supply chain from the window, around the knife block, across the repulsive bench top, down the base unit to underneath the fridge – where I keep most of my wasabi peas. 

… Relying on imported Japanese dry food, rather than looking for locally sourced produce. Un-fuckin-believable. I don’t know where these plonkers got their very small business degrees from, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was at a university for ant brains.

The female CEO who has been running this place like a family business, is clueless. This organisation is clearly arse over tits. She however, is chuffed with her delusional management style which cut out a comfortable market share from this literal niche – even during the ‘Season Finale of Ancient Aliens Shortage’ the colony was rolling in Japanese horseradish. No shit! Now, the boss lady wants to ‘expand’ big’ into the wasabi space with the next generation of ergates… well, fuck me!

The Queen is clearly a toff. Who would ‘expand big’ into an already established niche – a rubbish corner under the fridge. Things got proper disgusting after I had a look in their crawl-in cooler… shocking! Hardly any part of the business is invested at the cutting board exchange or the opportunistic crumbs market near the toaster, although they’re right fucking next to it! This whole gaff is cocked up from the top down. Blimey! You don’t need a magnifying glass (Oh, please. Anyone? Ant joke… anyone?) to see that leadership is taking the piss with a vast majority of their company dead set on this Japanese mining expedition metres away!

Now, I’ll have to tell them that the boom is over and the bust is coming… Someone ran out of red last Wednesday and I only eat wasabi peas with a glass of Shiraz. On top of that, I’m absolutely wankered most of the time since my relationship has fallen apart. Wake the fuck up and hold on to your knickers, lads, because in about a week, fag ends and empty bottles will be the only local produce left on your main supply route…


… like getting rid of the last guy at a party in a Nazi underground bunker. When on Friday, we first heard that 68% of republican drones still strongly support the Head of State, like room temperature Camembert hanging on to corduroy pants, we were mildly surprised, but mostly disgusted – mostly, like you mixed the dog’s Valium with mostly Jose Cuervo – by a lockstep obedience of the white collar class in this very small state that would have made Joseph Goebbels grab another bag of neon plastic party horns at the Berlin ‘Ze Superior Fun’ store.

Meanwhile, on the working class side of an 8m2 kitchen republic, the Wasabi Mining Union (WMU), which slinkied through, what is now known as the ‘Great Japanese Reduction’, as gracefully as a very sick Chihuahua chasing a scented squeaky toy down a steep flight of stairs, pledged to rebuild the economy better with an effort to extract sugar from broccoli residue – which broccoli experts think is as likely as them collectively sucking a hot oven mitt through a garden hose.

So we find ourselves in a state where half the population remains convinced that descending on anything green like a Siberian mosquito on a warm, exposed toe, is the best way to resurrect an economy going down the drain, flailing like an aircraft marshaller signalling a swarm of bees, and the other half is locked into a sycophantic, pheromonal embrace with an unhinged leader that keeps drivelling on about wasabi like she’s telling a food dream to a psychiatrist. And although the Japanese pea disappearance from under the fridge was as obviously unavoidable as the yucky feeling you get from downing a glass of OJ after brushing your teeth, the Queen insists that she just did ‘nazi’ that coming. 

And that was…



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