Junk

So the brilliant NSW State government has just poured money into another ridiculous venture, launching a website to tackle childhood obesity, which will be about as useful as me signing a petition to stop Malcolm Turnbull detaining refugees. Instead of actually spending money on fixing the growing problem of overweight kids, the health department will lecture and preach and give us more surveys and statistics. There is a simple fix but none of the pollies want to go there. Until the price of junk food becomes higher than the price of healthy food, low-income families will resort to the drive-thru and white sugar, white flour, white death options to treat their children. When we’re tired from working all day and don’t feel like cooking, rubbish food is low cost and easy to buy. If the government could grow some balls they’d tax the crap out of the junk food peddlers and make fruit and veggies cheaper. Why can’t the health department help people grow their own produce in every neighbourhood? It should be illegal to profit from selling chemicals and additives masquerading as food and drink to our kids. Get the rubbish food dispensers out of our hospitals and school canteens and watch our health budget decrease as our kids grow up to be healthy adults instead of becoming men and women who have diabetes and heart disease.

A study found that:

  • 22 per cent of the state’s children are overweight or obese
  • 5 per cent eat enough vegetables
  • 64 per cent eat enough fruit
  • 28 per cent get sufficient exercise
  • 44 per cent spend more than two hours a day on a sedentary activity

 

Jillian Skinner, it’s a no-brainer to fix the problem, but your Liberal mates don’t want to upset the shareholders of the world’s major junk suppliers. Until you really do something constructive to help our kids, you’re talking crap.

 


Am I really a single mother?

Happy Mother’s Day! Single mothers will now have to provide ‘verification’ of their relationship status in order to claim Centrelink’s Parenting Payment Single. Single mums who leave parenting Payment Single and then return to the payment will also have to send the Human Services Department a photograph of themselves sitting alone crying into their one glass of Aldi wine on a Saturday night.

“From 20 September 2018 new claimants seeking Parenting Payment (Single) or single parents claiming Newstart Allowance will be required to have a third party sign a new form verifying that they are in fact single, then we can tattoo their scrawny necks and microchip them before we release them back into the wild,” the government announced as part of the 2017 Budget this week.

To be rewarded with vast sums from the government’s welfare-bludgers’ prize pool, I will have to find someone whom I don’t want to share the horizontal tango with, to verify that I am in fact raising my children single-handedly. I’m really not sure who I’m going to ask to help me with this. Will it be the merchant banker who picked me up at an art gallery and then took me on an incredibly boring date? The 22-year-old man working at my local servo who thought if he gave me a free juice and a bag of chips, that I’d go on a date with him? The guy who sent me ‘sexy’ pics of himself late at night on Facebook while his wife was asleep? He may be my best choice. Hopefully, he’ll get confused and tell the authorities that he and I have been shacked up for years with my children, his kids from three relationships, our cat and a feral budgie. Apparently, the penalty for making a false declaration is up to 12 months in jail. Which could mean I’m in for a nice break (Wentworth prison here I come) from mothering and working if my dreamy battler beau brags about our imaginary sexy times on social media.

“This is offensive and deeply disturbing,” said Terese Edwards, chief executive of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children.

“Who verifies? Do children get asked? Is there a neighbour watch alert? This is a slippery slope back into the dark days. I’m proud of our single mothers, they are doing a damn good job and don’t need the burden of Government prejudice.”

Terese is right, single mothers are doing a damn fine job, they’re the hardest workers I’ve ever met. But I quite like the neighbourhood watch idea as I’m a bad picker. I could have a panel of people telling me if I’m going out with the wrong dude. My neighbours could shout out to me, “If you bring that guy home, we’ll tell Centrelink,” and I’d be dissuaded from making a bad move on Tinder.  Happy Mum’s Day from the Liberal Government. Scott Morrison what a generous man you are, you have saved me from a lifetime of bad relationships. I think I’ll stay home tonight knitting myself an old cat lady chastity belt.


Cooking fails

My new solo comedy show Kids In The Kitchen opens tonight at The Factory Theatre, Marrickville for the 2017 Sydney Comedy Festival

 

Lou_Pollard SCF 2017 Kids In The Kitchen poster flyer.jpg


Kids In The Kitchen

Apparently you have to feed kids good nutrition to help ’em grow. But frankly, I’m sick of cooking. Once upon a time I worked with a woman selling merchandise who wasn’t brilliant at customer service. We used to jokingly say to her, “This shop would run smoothly if these stupid customers stopped coming in,” and I feel the same about my kids coming into the kitchen. I’d have a clean house if it wasn’t for these grotty teenagers. So at dinner time, my kids get two choices, like it or lump it. My daughters usually swap the inedible contents of their lunchboxes for their unsuspecting school friends’ more tasty morsels.

 

I’ve written a comedy show about my lack of enthusiasm for being left in charge of catering, frankly it’s a job that I’m underwhelmed and ill-equipped to handle, but it has provided my children many opportunities to laugh at me. And made them good cooks.

I’d love you to bring foodie friends to my funny show as I embark on a quest to outsource the catering. You’ll laugh your guts up as I enlist the audience in my hunt for a personal cooking slave. This show contains bad cooking and more culinary disasters than a season of Gordon Ramsay, along with sensational stand-up and me singing a few tunes. If you’re tired of smashing your own avocados, come to Lou Pollard in Kids In The Kitchen for the 2017 Sydney Comedy Festival at Matchbox – The Factory Theatre, 105 Victoria Road Marrickville on Saturday 6th May at 5.45pm and Sunday 7 May 2017 at 4.45pm

 

Book tix: 2017 Sydney Comedy Festival tickets for Lou Pollard

Lou Pollard’s Looking For Mike Brady show is a joyous, wonderfully warped, true, raw romp through the minefields and thickets that beset dating, single parenthood and the predations of ageing.

**** Four stars – themusic.com.au

Lou & Wednesday Kids in the Kitchen


The gift that keeps on giving

I love it when I find a lovely Christmas gift tucked away and forgotten in a cupboard. Today I dug out Dan and Dave’s 2016 Xmas chutney (made from Granny’s top secret family recipe) and it went perfectly with what I was eating. Beer and chutney are a winning combination aren’t they gastronomes?

In the words of my favourite chef, Cookie Monster, “Me so full, but me can always eat one more.” I can’t wait to get stuck into my advent calendar tomorrow. 


There’s a name for it

I received an email yesterday:

We are worried about the future of your mortgage

What mortgage? I thought as I lay awake at 3am. Then I found out that there’s a name for the cause of my insomnia: housing poverty. I pay 65% of my income in rent every week. I’m not in debt but I’m about three pay days away from severe financial distress. So most nights I wake at 2am wondering how I’m going to manage and stay awake until 4am.

Housing poverty occurs when people who fall in the bottom 40% of wage earners put more than 30% of their weekly take-home pay into housing, which reduces their capacity to save money and thus their financial resilience.

According to an analysis by the Council to Homeless Persons, those paying rent alone on the average weekly wage for women would be priced out of all but one inner Melbourne suburb and even outer Sydney.

Jenny Smith, the chief executive of Council to Homeless Persons and chair of national peak body Homelessness Australia, said the situation for many single women was untenable and left them vulnerable to homelessness in the event of a crisis, like losing their job or a high medical bill.

“When you look at your average single woman on an average wage, you can see it’s very, very difficult to rent anywhere reasonable,” Smith told Guardian Australia.

“If you do, you are essentially putting yourself into a poverty situation.”

Sydney is a wonderful city, offering so much, but how can we revel in art and music and the joys of life when we financially stressed to breaking point? Single motherhood can be an exhausting cycle of taking time away from work to focus on motherhood, then overworking to earn enough money to pay back debt. And this is compounded when children have any kind of health issues. Maternity leave when kids are small and most need an involved parent impacts women’s ability to earn enough to support their children. My financial stress is caused by:

  1. Ridiculous Sydney housing prices
  2. Father who doesn’t pay for his children
  3. Working in the highly rewarding but low-paid arts sector for my entire career
  4. No politician with the balls to take on negative gearing/capital gains tax and make affordable housing a priority

Single working women on average wages in Sydney and most of Melbourne cannot afford to live alone. Men can. Does that seem fair to you Bernard Salt? I’m going to keep eating smashed avocado as I can’t pay for my own home with room for all my kids. Oh well. I could possibly live in a bus shelter when I’m old and it will be peaceful sharing with our cat. 
 

 

 

 


Oh George

In 1986 I was living in London and I had a flatmate who modelled her hair on George Michael’s fluffy bouffy do. She scored tickets to see Wham at Wembley Stadium that summer. I didn’t speak to her for a while because she went to the gig and I didn’t. It was never about Andrew, it was always about George. I loved George but I was too afraid to admit it. For a while there it wasn’t cool to like George Michael’s music, it wasn’t grungey or dark or rock enough. I’ve never liked cool obscure underground bands that nobody has heard of, with male singers who can’t hold a tune, I’m a huge fan of bright, shiny commercial pop. So George was the shiz.

 

I love George’s lyrics, I love his melodies and his voice. When I was 14, he wrote songs in the key of teenage angst. George understood me and my worries. Christmas doesn’t begin for me until I hear Last Christmas on the radio.

 

I can’t believe he’s gone at the age of 53. In the 90s his music kept my heart alive. I hope the dope didn’t kill him.

 

“Do you enjoy what you do? If not, just stop, don’t stay there and rot.”

 

Thank you George, I hope you’re blazing a trail with some gorgeous angelic backing vocalists in heaven