Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Quolly!

Angry Angus Burger, Chiko Roll and Chiko Chick.

Happy Birthday for Friday Quolly!

Merisi is putting pressure on me to Blog on time – so today I am.

Sissi is back home and is not happy. She is very tired and has a cone around her neck so that she cannot lick her stomach – or in fact do anything much at all.

Maalie has reminded me of some of the things that have not infiltrated the Austrian culture. These include the Chiko roll which is an unspeakable concoction of vegetable matter and other detritus of indeterminate origin – together with sawdust and probably rat droppings – bathed in batter and deep fried for I don’t know how long – possibly days.

The last time I had one I was sober and this is the wrong time to eat a Chiko roll. This is the food you each after you have been swept out of the Pub well past midnight and you lurch up to the Chiko roll seller and say ‘give me two of you finest Chiko rolls my good man and be quick about it’.

Days later this is the only part of the evening you remember as those Chiko rolls tend to linger with you for some time. They have – I believe – a half life of 6 weeks.

But I do miss Crumpets – these are not exactly like the English ones but are pretty damn close and there is nothing like a toasted Crumpet on a winter morning.

We got a number of good things from the English - Crumpets and will get back to you with a more extensive list....I know.....Marmalade.

And I miss Bagels – it is possible to get good Bagels in Wien – but not near our place.

There are other things it would be nice to have – but we have adapted quite well. Fortunately the Austrians are sophisticated enough to have Crunchy Nut Cornflakes - which satisfies my breakfast needs.

I note in passing that Hungry Jack’s in Australia has responded to the obesity problem (we are second only to the USA) by introducing the Ultimate Double Whopper Burger.

Named the Angry Angus Burger this show stopper is a killer and users will be required to be wired up to a defibrillator before partaking of his gastronomic delicacy – which will no doubt be accompanied by a large fries and washed down with a liter of Pepsi.

Dietitian Melanie McGrice said it would take the average person 3 1/2 hours of walking to burn off the 5040 kilojoules gained by eating the burger, and its 80g of fat was twice the recommended daily intake. Jiminy Cricket! That many kilojoules would stop a Hippo in its tracks.

It’s nice to see fast food operators doing their bit for the health of the community.

On matters of skepticism – there is a fantastic scam going on at the moment for which most of the media has fallen hook, line and sinker.

A Belgian man – conscious but unable to communicate for 23 years - is now miraculously able to communicate. So far so good – but they way he communicates has to be seen to be believed. Watch this video and tell me that the guy is doing this himself.

Coma Man

“The therapist, Linda Wouters, told APTN that she can feel Houben guiding her hand with gentle pressure from his fingers, and that she feels him objecting when she moves his hand toward an incorrect letter”.

Yeh right!

He obviously spent the last 23 years while he was in the coma teaching himself to touch type -because he can do it without looking at the keyboard - if indeed he can see the keyboard.

Stuff like this makes me want to vomit.

Before you ask - why would she want to do this? The answer is that he is going to write a book - with Linda's help of course.

For a more definitive analayis of this scam see PZ Myers fabulous Blog. This should be required reading for everyone who cares.


We have tickets to “The Messiah” at the Wiener Konzerthaus on 8 December. This is one of our favourite Christmas traditions. I wonder if the audience here follows the custom of standing during the Hallelujah Chorus?

If you want to know why they do this – Wikipedia says:

“In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for this section of the performance. Tradition has it that King George II rose to his feet at this point. As the first notes of the triumphant Hallelujah Chorus rang out, the king rose. Royal protocol has always demanded that whenever the monarch stands, so does everyone in the monarch's presence. Thus, the entire audience and orchestra stood too, initiating a tradition that has lasted more than two centuries”

It’s funny because every time we go there are always a few people who do not stand up – I am not sure why – probably because they think it’s something to do with Christianity.
We don't really know why KG2 stood up. He might have had an Angry Angus Burger that was about to take revenge - or maybe he wanted to fart or scratch his bottom.

No matter - I love this quaint English custom which I hope will be with us forever - which given the parlous state of the planet is not likely to be all that much longer.


  1. Hey, we are going to that Messiah thing as well on the 8th. I am very excited as this will be my first concert of classical music in four years of living here. I'm a Messiah virgin, so to speak – free jazz is more my kind of thing – but my wife was very keen to go so we will be there. Now I'm worried that we will stand when we should be sitting or sit when we should be standing. Classical music is such a minefield of protocol. An evening at Porgy & Bess is much simpler.

  2. Would you please be so kind and accept my apologies for showing up late to read your post today? I have a list of reasons, but I am sure you don't wanna hear it, right? ;-)

    I imagine Austrians stay seated during the Messiah. They had to rise for too many centuries to please their emperors. Interestingly, at the Kennedy Center people did rise. They probably did not know that a king had started that custom! ;-)

  3. Viennesewaltz - just watch me. Row 6 Seat 7.

    I am betting we will be seated during the entire performance - especially as the Conductor is French and may specifically forbid us from standing.

  4. Blimey. I may be able to do that more easily than you think, from my spot in Row 7 Seat 4. You'd better get it right, that's all I can say.

  5. Actually a Chiko roll is OK swilled down with half a case of VB!