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I love to scare. It may include hiding in my daughter’s bed as flat as can be with the doona over my face. I may call her to come in. I hold my breath and then, “BOOOOOOO!” She screams, a dainty little sound escapes and then with a half smile she says, “DOOOON’T!”. Then we laugh.

It took my son a lot longer to enjoy being scared. I weaned him onto it. He was a nervous little man at first. When I tried it the first time he broke down, crying his heart out. It was then I knew I had to go slowly and teach him how to enjoy the experience of being surprised. I started with heavy footsteps in the hall, so he knew I was coming. Then, as his scare skin toughened, I crept. Then crawled, then tiptoed. There is an art to teaching the ‘scare’.

Now, he loves hide-and-seek. Although he gets so excited when some one is coming near that he jumps out before he can be properly discovered. Perhaps he needs to learn how to hide now? I think being scared in a safe environment by your mother is a valuable thing to experience. This ‘skin jumping’ as I call it, produces an insanely awesome sense of humour, a thicker skin and a sense of fun in the house. Anything can happen, but what WILL?

Sometimes the skin jumping is accidental. My kids are fairly light walkers when they want to be and have mastered the silent stand and stare. So, without knowing it, they are dishing out the scare to me! I shriek a girly kind of scream, as I re-swallow my heart and regain my composure. It is interesting being on the other side. Although they only get me good when they don’t mean to.

Planned scares never work. There’s way too much giggling and shuffling. It is hide-and-seek all over again. I am aware, however, that there will be a time when their scaring skills will be as advanced as mine. They, too, will wear socks to muffle footsteps and crawl around so as not to be detected too early. They will hide behind doors and curtains and boo me. I only hope that I don’t have a heart condition, for that would be the end of me.

I have Melissa McCarthy (Sookie St.James from Gilmore Girls) to blame. I remember her telling a story of her father hiding for 20 minutes under a table and then jumping out and scaring them. I thought that perhaps this contributed to her awesome sense of humour and adopted the ‘scare’ as my own.

Time will tell whether skin jumping will produce great humour in my children or make them nervy little things who have to check behind every door before relaxing in a room. I hope they will remember their childhood as Melissa did with warmth and a bit of a chuckle!!

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There’s nothing wrong with being a bit quirky. However, there is a line; one that must not be crossed. For this is a place where muttering cat ladies and boofy hair, blue eyeshadow and fake eyelash-ed women dwell.

Ho ho, no. I like to think I am only part ‘nutter’. I love thinking outside the box; going where the truly sane are scared to go. However, it can go either way. ‘Nutter’ can potentially come off as immature or silly if it is presented in a high pitched and overly excited way. Or it can be totally inappropriate. I have taken a trial-and-error approach to my nutter-hood-dom. Which means there have been many, many times where I have heard nothing but crickets and seen nothing but polite, horizontal smiles. Beetroot!

For example, one day I decided to go through my junk drawer. This drawer is a heavy, old fashioned thing that requires two handed and straight backed, bended knees lifting. And so I lifted the darn thing onto my bed to start the annual purge. Unfortunately, I placed the drawer too close to the end of my bed so that when I sat down I started to teeter on the back corner. Legs were held mid-air, arms were making circles as I tried to balance; “woooow, woooow!” It was like slow motion. I then fell from my fairly high bed onto the floorboards. As I was not hurt I ran into my husband’s studio and retold the story; proud of how funny I was. I quickly realised however, that the event was much funnier for me than for him. Again, beetroot.

The bonus about being only partly nutterfied is that in sensible times, people are not surprised when you have a clumsy moment, as they think you are being funny; a huge cover up! One of my best and most painful clumsy moments came

Image by Smatprt

in a performance at University. We had an audience watching us perform a scene from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. In rehearsals there was nothing behind the curtain but as I (a hilarious character) ran behind the curtain to get to the other side of the stage, I realised with a ‘thud’ that some smart person had placed a black, wooden stage rise behind the curtain. My shins were hammered. In my tutor’s comments he said he loved the part where I fell over backstage, it brought out the humour in the scene. Ta da! And again, cover up, beetroot and massive shin bruise and bleed.

I wear the badge, the label, ‘Part Nutter’, with much pride. However, I do fear that as I age and the mind starts deteriorating, that I will slide into the complete Nutter category. So please, if you see me on the slippery slope down into that fearful place, be a pal and lift me out!

This is a film review for Date Night!

On the run

Panic sets in

My husband and I hopped in the ute and headed to the Wollongong cinema. We bounced along the new expressway and in ten minutes, we had arrived. I had to visit the ladies room which hasn’t changed in thirty years. Ah the memories of visiting this here room with my granny. I swear the seats have not changed in that time either. It was difficult to choose a good one. The ‘deed’ was soon done and I headed out. It was a quiet night at the old Hoyts. And it was interesting to see that there were few people out on a date night to see Date Night. The cinema goers were mostly older couples on a group date. Is that what you do when the kids leave home?

The screen was small at first as usual, we were worried that being a regional city, the screen would stay that way. But no, after the ads, the curtain moved and stretched the screen to the appropiate width. Phew! Previews, late comers, lights down, opening credits, Maltesers.

Fey, Carell and Wahlberg GOLD

Fey, Carell and Wahlberg GOLD

I love Tina Fey and Steve Carrell but I was feeling a little nervous. What if my old favs let me down. What if I had to force laughs just to enjoy it? So much hype, so much hope. And here’s the review:

Date Night is about marriage. We meet Claire (Fey) and Phil (Carell) Foster, a couple of working parents, living in the ‘burbs of New Jersey. They are comfortable, too comfortable. Their marriage has lost its zing. Like so many long-term relationships, their love has become routine. Once a week they head out on a date night to the same place, order the same food and play the same games. They have their standard jokes which are funny but once again, routine.

One sad night shakes them out of their hum-drumity and they wake up. They have “seen the light”. The Fosters get proactive, Claire puts on a dress, Phil makes a wild suggestion and they head to the city and that’s when things get interesting.

I won’t tell you what happens. And be warned, do not watch the preview, I’m talking eyes squeezed shut, fingers in ears and hum! It is so frustrating that the best jokes are shown in the preview.

Nevertheless, this is a entirely enjoyable fluffy movie. It is not always laugh out loud funny, but the characters, action and storyline make it a keeper. Despite some unbelievable coincidences, this is a great movie.  I just love this couple. I love their relationship and I found myself getting excited for them as they found adventure, even if it was dangerous. This is a great one for a date night. It ticks all the boxes for both genders, a bit of love, a bit of adventure, guns, comedy, and family values.

And in the middle of all this is a positive message about the importance of sticking at relationships even when they get boring. It shows there is hope for the average person to make their own adventure if they step out of the comfortable. A totally satisfying movie. We love you Tina, we love you Steve!

It’s nice to be wacko sometimes. A crazy day. You may fling your hands towards the sky and scream, yell or SING your lungs out. You don’t care who is watching. You may skip or cartwheel through a mall on a Saturday morning. Imagine the looks! Cool. Imagine the possible slapstick moments! Cooler. Just don’t wear a dress. Or tuck your skirt into your knickers then you’ll be right.

How fun to be silly. Do a prank call on your mum, dad or sibling. Just make sure it’s funny, don’t scare them. Play extreme ‘boo’ with your kids, if you have them. Hide around a corner, be patient, and when the little one skips by, yell “BOO”! They will either love you or hate you for this! Make a mess; eat half a cake and cook the other half. Ice with really fattening icing and lollies.

Wear clothing backwards and in-side-out. Or go to the toilet at a restaurant and come out with a long line of toilet paper flowing from your pants. Pretend you didn’t notice. The joke is on them! Talk really quietly all day. When people ask you to speak up, turn the volume down a notch.

Walk up to a stranger in a shop and pretend you know them. Start talking about their families and how much you have missed them. Go fishing at a wishing well. You know the ones at shopping centres? Buy a dead fish from the local fish shop and pretend you caught a live one. Who knows who will join you?

Go for a walk backwards. Preferably with a friend and pretend that it is the norm! You could even try a jog. People will think they are losing their minds! Take photos of your elbows, knees, ears, fingers and toes, blow up the photos and call them art. Have an exhibition at your local art gallery.

To be wacko is to be free. But please limit it to one day a year, be nice and remember if your wackiness causes harm, discontinue immediately or see a doctor (the kind that comes with a free jacket).

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