Tell me Somethin’ Good.

Lately I have been having a difficult time staying positive for one reason or another. You know how it goes – work pressures, money pressures, family pressures, feeling you’re not doing enough to relieve the pressure pressures. So sometimes what I do when I feel it’s all getting a bit too much is what I call the Tell me something good ritual, where I say ‘Tell me something good’ whenever I have a spare moment in the hope that the saying of it will act as some kind of catalyst that will endear the gods to cast their shining light on me.

I have in fact found that saying Tell me Something Good over and over again for a period of days which roughly adds up to 244.75 times consecutively, reaps its own reward when you stop. You are so relieved you no longer have to say Tell me Something Good that you feel good.

The Tell me Something Good ritual worked today. Today the darkness lifted. Derek the handyman who likes flying model gliders and listening to Supertramp, fixed my leaking roof. The agent I rent my house through offered me another year’s lease without a rent increase (I never thought I would be so happy to pay $650 a week rent.)

My sister’s husband hasn’t had a drink for 6 weeks. Small steps, but important ones. A short story I submitted six months ago has been accepted (thank you, powers that be.) And most importantly, my son is now able to defuse tense situations with humour.

Today Jake and his friends got in trouble at school for playing the ‘Foot Long’ game. This is where you draw a prominent part of the male anatomy in the dirt (in this case it was about four feet long) then sit at the top of it with your legs spread while saying :’Check this out.’ Now I know this type of behaviour shouldn’t be encouraged but every young boy should be able to dream of what might be. I certainly don’t want to rain on his parade. Hahaha.

It seems some of the girls in Jake’s class took offence to this game and dobbed he and his friends in. (A dobber is Aussie slang for someone who tells tales.)

Now ordinarily Jake would get very upset about being dobbed on. He often goes on about how dobbing is against the kids code of conduct and all that and should only be used for extreme cases like when someone is being punched or bullied (he has a very strong sense of fair play, our Jake.) So when he told me this story after school I was sure it ended badly and that he had carried on a bit and made the situation worse.

However, to my surprise when asked by a teacher just what exactly he thought he was doing, he replied : ‘Studying the anatomy of the digestive system, Sir. This is the large intestine and this is the gall bladder.’ Jake was told to keep his anatomy lessons to himself but I was so glad he was quick-witted under pressure and managed to maintain his sense of humour. Is that the bell of maturity I hear tolling? He may not end up being as well-endowed as Dirk Diggler but at least he’ll be able to laugh at life’s ups and downs.

Been a great day. Must be time for some Chaka Khan.

Tell Me Somethin’ Good, Miss Chaka!

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20 thoughts on “Tell me Somethin’ Good.

  1. My brother lives in Sydney so I knew renting was expensive but …..$650.00 per week. Good Lord. Congratulations on your short story being accepted though that is no big surprise. You are an awesome writer Selma so it’s good to know that more people will get to enjoy your work.

    Well done BIL on the abstaining from drink and YAY for Jake for taking the high road. Those girls sure don’t have a sense of humour do they?

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  2. Good for you Jake! And if the teacher couldn’t tell the difference between various intestinal elements and – er – other stuff, well. Enough said.

    Congrats on your story being accepted!!

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  3. selma…. i am thrilled to hear your story was accepted… as soon as you are able you will have to wither point us in the right direction… or share it…

    i am glad the fog is lifting for you i feel rather human this week myself…..

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  4. That is hilarious. Quick thinking on the witty little one. I love hearing stories about subverting the mindless bureaucrats and government “zero tolerance” handlers. Give the boy a pat on the back for me. The little tattler needs to mind her own pints and worry about the size of her bits instead.

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  5. “Lately I have been having a difficult time staying positive for one reason or another. You know how it goes – work pressures, money pressures, family pressures, feeling you’re not doing enough to relieve the pressure pressures. So sometimes what I do when I feel it’s all getting a bit too much is what I call the Tell me something good ritual, where I say ‘Tell me something good’ whenever I have a spare moment in the hope that the saying of it will act as some kind of catalyst that will endear the gods to cast their shining light on me.”

    The Peace of Wild Things

    When despair for the world grows in me
    and I wake in the night at the least sound
    in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
    I go and lie down where the wood drake
    rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
    I come into the peace of wild things
    who do not tax their lives with forethought
    of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
    And I feel above me the day-blind stars
    waiting with their light. For a time
    I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

    — Wendell Berry

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  6. Good on ya Jake! Selma, congratulations on the short story! Hang in there, I just know more good is on its way to you. Lots and lots of good.

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  7. Congratulations on the story!! And good on Jake too. 🙂

    *wanders off wondering how many times today she can make up an excuse to use the word “dobbed”*

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  8. Ah! That Jake will go far in life with a wit like that. You’ve done a good job with him, Selma (and Alfie, too, of course).

    Congrats on the story acceptance! I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of your writing being snapped up by savvy publishers.

    Yay for sister’s husband being drink-free for six weeks. Yes, even small steps add up to great strides.

    My only complaint??? THAT SONG IS NOW STUCK IN MY HEAD!!! ACK!!!

    Time to counter that little problem with some of Wagner’s Valkyries. Excuse me while I don my winged helm and grab my flaming sword…

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  9. selma, i cannot find your email address,, and i am wondering if since i have switched my template back to the one i was using a few months ago if the commenting problem has reared its ugly head again.. in all truth i couldn’t remember why i changed it the last time,, and then it occurred to me that some people were having trouble commenting,, and i believe one of them was you.. please let me know as i am in love with this template,, but i also like to know no one is unable to leave a comment if they desire to…

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  10. Did I read correctly $650/week – that is insane! We can get a decent 2 bedroom apartment here for that price for a month! You just dashed my dreams of going to Australia and living there and traveling for a year! I think I still have to keep on saving! I love your son’s fast thinking… and that things slowly getting better for you.

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  11. GYPSY – it’s an expensive old town. We don’t even live in a really fancy neighbourhood. I know people who pay over a thousand a week in rent ,which seems insane. I am so glad Jake didn’t get in a verbal stoush with those girls which is what he usually does. My boy is growing up!

    NANNA – thanks so much. Poor teachers these days, their knowledge of anatomy isn’t what it used to be. Hehe.

    PAISLEY – it kind of feels like a miracle. It’s in an Aussie ‘literary’ mag which I am pleased about although I don’t like it when writers are defined as literary or not. Why do we always have to be labelled? I’ll let you know re. publication dates etc. So glad the fog is lifting for you too!

    JOHNNY – Amen. Jake is very anti-establishment. He’s been watching too many Clash and Public Enemy videos. One of his favourite sayings is ‘Fight the Power.’

    DAVID – beautiful poem. If I ever need a poem or quote for a special occasion I’m going to come to you. You are a walking encyclopedia!

    BEC – It’s great when you can see your child being able to laugh at themselves or the ridiculousness of a situation. I am breathing a bit of a sigh of relief because Jake used to get so upset when he got into trouble. Whew!

    CHRIS – ah the power of the Wah Wah. Many a time has it saved me from despair. I don’t have a ‘fro but I do have some flares and have learned the riff to ‘Foxy Lady’ off by heart. Good times!

    POET – now that is a good tip. Chaka is any form lifts the spirits!

    DAOINE – aww, you are so sweet. How wonderful if you were right. You deserve every success too – you are so supportive!

    MICHAEL – you love those guys, don’t you? I’m DJ-ing at the school disco in a couple of weeks and always play ‘Stayin’ Alive.’ The five and six year olds love it. You should see them shakin’ their groove thangs!

    MELEAH – it does work. It always surprises me!

    BRITT – ‘dobbed’ is a classic term. When I first came to Oz I had no idea what they were talking about. I was chatting to a girl at school when some other girls said to me: “Don’t play with her, she’s a dobber.” I thought that maybe she had some strange kind of intestinal disorder or a religious affiliation I had never heard of. The ultimate insult is to be a ‘Dirty Dobber.’ You’ve hit the bottom of the barrel as a stool-pigeon then!

    KAREN – nothing like a bit of Wagner for re-establishing things. I find him to be particularly good when writing horror. Powerful stuff!

    PAISLEY – on my way to let you know. I haven’t been around for the past few days. Won’t be long.

    TBALL – sad but true. Sydney is one of the most expensive cities in the world. It’s in the Top 5. I don’t know what order they come in but the other four are London, New York, Paris and Tokyo. For those of us who are not from wealthy families or who are not high-flying corporate executives, it’s difficult to get by. It’s also changing the flavour of the city as more and more of the creative types leave. Great to hear from you, I was only thinking about you the other day and was hoping you were well.

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  12. hi Selma! Thanks for thinking about me, it has been one of those weeks – like a roller coaster, but I have been coming around to read your stuff… its so inspiring sometimes!

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