Late yesterday two attractive female friends dropped by to check on my recovery. One said I looked “good”. The other, after only a brief pause, politely agreed.

Being shallow – it’s a lifestyle choice – I was so delighted by this I entirely forgot my scheduled painkiller intake for the rest of the night. In other news:

• Thanks to kind family and friends, I now own a stylish walking stick (note to self: conceal from physiotherapists), a small plastic male nurse figurine, a Lindt chocolate bear (cheers, Dan and Mrs Dan), a brilliant DVD player, and many excellent books (including two out-of-print classics and Amy Sedaris’s I Like You).

• My doctor asks that I direct readers here. Happy to oblige.

• Best floral gift from a straight male currently serving in Afghanistan:
• Overconfident, a few days ago I attempted to take a bath. Unable to haul myself out – no exit strategy – I was forced to call on the only other person in the house: my dear old mother. During an intensely awkward bath-extraction pas de deux, it was silently agreed that we must never speak of this again.

• The level of cancer with which I was diagnosed: T3. Not the worst.

• Weight before surgery: 82 kilograms (180 pounds). Present weight, after several days on solid food: 75 kilograms (165 pounds).

• I’m informally banned from driving lest sudden braking cause sudden breakage of slow-mending abdominal wounds and subsequent hilarious organ spillage. My mother – a former nurse – once saw this happen.

• Cards arrived today from an uncle and aunt in remote Douglas, Victoria (look it up on Google Earth) and from Rebecca H. in even remoter Ohio. Thank you very much.

• Most unusual gift: a pen fashioned from merged bullet cartridges.

• Best telephone greeting, from a News Ltd colleague in Darwin: “Hey, cancer boy!”

UPDATE. Nobody has given me a Mr Potato Head, but if they did, I would defend it with every tentacle I had.

Posted by Tim B. on 02/05/2008 at 07:56 AM
    1. Tim,

      Abso-f**king-lutely tickled pink that you’re doing well!

      A pen from bullet cartridges? That is so awesome!

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 02 05 at 08:06 AM • permalink


    1. That Get Screened site needs a “because I care that you might be sick” option, rather than age, etc.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 02 05 at 08:10 AM • permalink


    1. Psst, Tim,

      If I bought your mum a bottle of Frangelico, would she tell me all the gory details of your bath mishap?

      Works on my mum! 😉

      Posted by Pogria on 2008 02 05 at 08:14 AM • permalink


    1. Best floral gift from a straight male currently serving in Afghanistan:

      Yeah yeah.

      Posted by Nic on 2008 02 05 at 08:17 AM • permalink


    1. Did the Tele have to give you a separate mail bag?

      Don’t forget the stuff you were supposed to pick up before you were disembowelled, from out west.

      Here’s a joke from my aunt…
      or, maybe not?

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 08:21 AM • permalink


    1. There’s that ugly arm again.  me thinks I know where “thing” got to after finishing “its” tv career.

      Good luck on an ongoing successful recovery.  T3 is cool.  Sequels always do poorly, so you got this one beat.

      Posted by peter m on 2008 02 05 at 08:21 AM • permalink


    1. PS I’ll pass on the tour, I’ll leave that up to the dude with the camera. Thanks anyway.

      Wouldn’t mind winning the car, though.

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 08:28 AM • permalink


    1. Mate, and I use the term seriously, your good humour at your shitty situation is a credit to you. To quote the prophet McKenzie:
      “If it was raining virgins, you’d be washed down the gutter with a poof” and yet you’ve taken it on the chin better than Bob Brown does. 😉

      All strength to you & all the best… and I mean that term seriously too!

      Cheers, Gibbo

      Posted by Gibbo on 2008 02 05 at 08:33 AM • permalink


    1. #8 Gibbo,

      I thought he took it in the guts?

      You know, the conventional way. 😉

      Oh, wait, he took it OUT of the guts. hhmmm, could have landed some on his chin.


      ~~~~~~~~waving hi!~~~~~~~

      Posted by Pogria on 2008 02 05 at 08:43 AM • permalink


    1. we must never speak of this again
      Oh right, blog it up for all the world to see though, that doesn’t count.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2008 02 05 at 08:44 AM • permalink


    1. By the way Tim,

      what became of the leftovers?

      Posted by Pogria on 2008 02 05 at 08:46 AM • permalink


    1. #9 Not speaking of it ever implies never mentioning it from a blog.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 02 05 at 08:47 AM • permalink


    1. Glad to see you’re on the mend, Tim. Steady as she goes.

      Posted by paco on 2008 02 05 at 08:51 AM • permalink


    1. Mate, with your attitude and outlook, things are going to be better than before. From now on cars will feel faster, women will appear more deliciously curvy, rain will sound a symphony. The taste of everything will be amplified and perhaps, just maybe, even encountering prats riding Segways will become tolerable. And, though it would seem impossible, the pleasure of humiliating leftards will become more sublime than it already is.

      Posted by Penguin on 2008 02 05 at 08:56 AM • permalink


    1. Tim, many years ago an ex-boyf of mine broke his back in a car accident. When he finally got home from hospital he needed help to shower.
      He hated his mum helping*.
      Funnily enough, he didn’t mind me helping. (and he was an ex at the time)

      *She said to him “I’ll wash down as far as possible, and up as far as possible, and you can wash possible.”

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 08:56 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, and by the time I was helping it was mostly to steady him so he wouldn’t fall in the bath/shower.

      And I wore a bikini.

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 08:58 AM • permalink


    1. re: Mr. Potato Head, you have tentacles? I thought they took them during the surgery.

      Posted by Retread on 2008 02 05 at 09:03 AM • permalink


    1. #17 Retread,

      They’re in his bag.

      For safekeeping, you know.

      Posted by Pogria on 2008 02 05 at 09:05 AM • permalink


    1. 16 – Wow, amazing that you can enter ‘redhead bikini’ in Google images and be directed to so many thousands of pics of girls who are not wearing bikinis. And are possibly not natural redheads either.
      We now conclude the smut section of the evening’s programming. Drive safely, brush your teeth before bed, don’t forget to say your prayers.

      Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2008 02 05 at 09:06 AM • permalink


    1. It seems odd to me that Captain Nemo’s submarine looks like a Mr Potato Head from the outside.

      Posted by Penguin on 2008 02 05 at 09:09 AM • permalink


    1. Two three things, Tim.

      Don’t let any kiddies see that picture of Mr Potato Head and the Occy.
      (I will be dealing with that trauma for about 40 years- $orry)

      Don’t carry your bullet pen in your carry on bag to an aircraft. The surgery to eradicate the bowel invader will seem easy after the knuckle draggers in uniform get at you.

      3rd, and on a serious note, delighted to see you haven’t lost your sense of humour, and that your legion of commenters haven’t either.

      Posted by Pedro the Ignorant on 2008 02 05 at 09:27 AM • permalink


    1. They say that a sense of humour in adversity is a gift that will carry you through, but Tim’s ability to make us all chuckle is exceptional.

      To take the idea a step further, if “anger is an energy” according to Jonny Rotten of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd, then laughter can be packaged with a detonator and strapped around your waist.

      Posted by splice on 2008 02 05 at 09:30 AM • permalink


    1. Tim,
      I hope you got the beer I sent to your office.  It was from Brewtopia in case the mail room didn’t know what to do with it.  I’m beginning to wonder if the buggers have delivered it as promised.

      Posted by Craig Mc on 2008 02 05 at 09:38 AM • permalink


    1. Once, while still half anaesthetised, I too had to be helped from a tub. Fortunately, my helpmate was a nurse so pretty she could have got Marat and Morrison up and about. In your case, you’re probably right – oedipal omertà is advisable.

      Thanks for the amazing work/humour ethic you’ve shown here since your surgery. Steady as she goes, as Paco says.

      Posted by C.L. on 2008 02 05 at 09:38 AM • permalink


    1. Great to hear the news Tim, keep it up!!!  Man I wish I could get back down to 165lbs for racing season…….of course I’ll pass on the Tim Blair weight loss plan……

      Posted by Old Tanker on 2008 02 05 at 10:02 AM • permalink


    1. Moms are so helpful with their graphic descriptions of the consequences of one’s behavior. My mom was a nurse, too. But, oddly enough, her descriptions of what horrible things could befall my person seemed more like challenges than warnings.

      And again with the arm recovery pictures. I can’t take the suspense anymore. What’s the non-arm Tim status?

      Posted by GPE on 2008 02 05 at 10:11 AM • permalink


    1. A pen from bullet cartridges? That is so awesome!

      But you want to be careful with the new landmine keyboard.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2008 02 05 at 11:07 AM • permalink


    1. I would defend it with every tentacle I had.

      “Had”?  One more time, please, Tim…..just what did your surgery remove?

      Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 02 05 at 11:54 AM • permalink


    1. Your mum once saw somebody’s organd fall out due to over-hard braking? Really?

      Did she take pictures?

      Posted by mojo on 2008 02 05 at 12:04 PM • permalink


    1. love Cancer Boy!

      Posted by bovious on 2008 02 05 at 12:10 PM • permalink


    1. Did N.T News reverse charges or is Don still on holiday?

      Posted by watty on 2008 02 05 at 12:34 PM • permalink


    1. Tim, I’m late posting because of my own medical problems.  They haven’t kept me from thinking about you, and checking in on your progress during my allocated 10 minutes on the interweb.

      I am very happy to hear of the results of your surgery.  I’ve no doubt that you’ll continue to progress towards full health.

      You remain in my thoughts.

      Posted by saltydog on 2008 02 05 at 12:35 PM • permalink


    1. Thanks for the update, Tim.  Glad to know you’re doing well.  Did Mum say, “Pish tosh!  I’ve seen your naked butt before.”?

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 02 05 at 12:50 PM • permalink


    1. Mom’s main problem getting Tim out of the bath lay in the fact Tim was slippery and he wiggled. His giggling and grabbing of body parts didn’t help any. And then Tim wouldn’t get into his PJs, but insisted on toddling about making airplane noises.

      Just one of the side-effects of hardcore painkillers they dont tell you about.

      Posted by mythusmage on 2008 02 05 at 12:56 PM • permalink


    1. Glad you are feeling better.  If you had an octopus, would you defend it with every Mr. Potato Head you had?

      Posted by ushie on 2008 02 05 at 02:25 PM • permalink


    1. #34
      That’s hilarious, mythus!
      So cute.

      (you’re all hilarious)

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 03:13 PM • permalink


    1. The phrase “subsequent hilarious organ spillage” for some reason just cracks my sh*t up.

      Get well, Tim, so we can all continue enjoying your wit and wisdom.

      Posted by Percy Dovetonsils on 2008 02 05 at 03:20 PM • permalink


    1. #22 “…then laughter can be packaged with a detonator and strapped around your waist.
      Three Stooges or Marx Brothers?

      Posted by Deborah Leigh on 2008 02 05 at 04:10 PM • permalink


    1. #27 Landmine keyboards? I like it! Can we send them to Iran, Gaza, Pakistan, and a few other choice places?

      Posted by Deborah Leigh on 2008 02 05 at 04:13 PM • permalink


    1. Am very happy you continue plodding on the path to recovery, tim
      and all your commenters still making funnies!

      Posted by missred on 2008 02 05 at 04:46 PM • permalink


    1. Late yesterday two ATTRACTIVE female friends

      Sounds like the blood supply has been restored to the lower regions.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 02 05 at 05:29 PM • permalink


    1. For really kewl octopus stuff, see here, and be sure to watch the video and be amazed.

      Posted by rightwingprof on 2008 02 05 at 05:30 PM • permalink


    1. Tim, Great so to see you retain your humour (and not the tumour). All the best!

      Posted by MannyC on 2008 02 05 at 05:31 PM • permalink


    1. What if you only drive in reverse gear?

      Presumably then, sudden braking would improve organ placement.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2008 02 05 at 05:50 PM • permalink


    1. What if you only drive in reverse gear?

      Presumably then, sudden braking would improve organ placement.

      Dan, have you ever thought of getting a job as a publicist for Bob Brown, he would be interested in this?

      Posted by surfmaster on 2008 02 05 at 06:04 PM • permalink


    1. 14 Penguin. Not quite as good as Alzheimer’s.
      You wake up every morning believing that you are a virgin.

      Posted by Skeeter on 2008 02 05 at 06:11 PM • permalink


    1. A little hint if that organ spillage happens at an awkward moment, (meeting the queen, GWB or Phat Phill) if you have a section of intestine protruding pour some ice cold water on it and it will pull itself back inside. (Wish I had a bit of film of it, looks quite …different)

      I have no idea why it works, but its just dandy on sheep (when you accidentaly slice open the prize ram shearing it) so I dont imagine people will be any different.
      Mentioned it to a surgeon once and hed never heard of it, but was keen to give it a go later….

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 05 at 06:54 PM • permalink


    1. Glad to see they didn’t give you a humourectomy. And flowers from Afghanistan? Methinks they might be the best pain killer yet, if correctly used.

      Posted by Infidel Tiger on 2008 02 05 at 07:36 PM • permalink


    1. I recommend THIS to our antipodean journalist patient to help him throught he long boredom of healing. UIn fact, I think I’ll buy a copy myself. <Shuffles off to kitchen ..“I’m sorry miss piggy about the hammer, but I need those coins”>

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2008 02 05 at 07:38 PM • permalink


    1. Tim, really glad to hear your on the road to recovery.

      Would have sent my prayers and best wishes, but i was being held incommunicado for the last month.

      God bless.

      BTW, do people really still take baths?

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 05 at 08:08 PM • permalink


    1. That arm looks suspiciously octopodal.

      Posted by arrowhead ripper on 2008 02 05 at 08:54 PM • permalink


    1. The Floss Family has been kept up to date, Tim, with varying degrees of interest (it must be said) in your condition.

      My Daughter, the saintly spawn of two who top Hell’s “will call” list, has just offered up her once prized Mr. Potato Head—and gone so far as to throw in her Buzz Lightyear “action figure” (Toy Story being her first introduction to the wonderful world of root vegetable playthings).

      I drew the line at her offer to throw in Woody and Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl. Sorry.

      You’ve my addy virtual—let me know where to send them (you’ll be making a little girl very happy).

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2008 02 05 at 09:02 PM • permalink


    1. #32 Best wishes to you too Salty Dog. I hope you’re on the mend.

      Tim I hope the pain’s subsiding. Best wishes.

      Posted by mehaul on 2008 02 05 at 09:10 PM • permalink


    1. #46 Skeets.

      That makes me wonder what real virgins with alzheimers wake up thinking.

      Posted by Penguin on 2008 02 05 at 09:21 PM • permalink


    1. what’s a virgin?

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 09:33 PM • permalink


    1. what’s a virgin?

      Kae – A Tasmanian girl who can outrun her brother….

      Posted by surfmaster on 2008 02 05 at 09:35 PM • permalink


    1. LOL Surfie

      Lucky I’ts not smoko time, or my new keyboard would be old.

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 09:38 PM • permalink


    1. That’s really good news.  We’ll drink to your recovery on Saturday.  Just a reminder that if you’re in the Canberra area and want to come along to the gathering, send an email to Pogria and to me to find out meeting time and place.

      Posted by craigo on 2008 02 05 at 09:41 PM • permalink


    1. Nothing worse than spitting hot coffee all over the keyboard, except for maybe Tim’s “subsequent hilarious organ spillage”

      Posted by surfmaster on 2008 02 05 at 09:42 PM • permalink


    1. Tim’s subsequent hilarious organ spillage* probably wouldn’t be so hilarious.

      But surgeons are good with puzzles…..

      *(And that’d really bugger your keyboard… and screen…. and desk…. and carpet….)

      Posted by kae on 2008 02 05 at 09:46 PM • permalink


    1. Speaking of pain relief, had a call out last night to a chap who had decided his fingers were boring where they were and 2 of them would be much more attractive at right angles half way down.
      Methoxyflouraine, package and off to town for him.
      Before the doctor put them back in place the bloke had giggle gas, morphine and local anasthetic. And it still hurt.
      To the clowns who have said “why didnt you pop them back in” I have a lovely set of pictures on my mobile to show them. Most of them shut up when they see them.

      The thing i dont understand is the Doc says “does it still hurt” and people say silly things like “Yup but get it over with”, when the correct answer is “More giggle gas” or “more morphine please”. Pain and suffering is overrated, especially when it can be avoided.
      I expect him to post the finger pics off to Zoo magazine (they have a “readers injury gallery each week) in the next week or 2, he wanted to get something out of the event anyway.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 05 at 09:50 PM • permalink


    1. #61, Frollick, ive gotta ask how he did it.

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 06 at 12:09 AM • permalink


    1. Of all things just a simple trip and caught his fingers on the rock wall as he went down.
      Lucky he had gloves on or he might have sliced it as well.

      Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 02 06 at 02:40 AM • permalink


    1. Oh, is that all?  I was imagining gears or prop shafts, but then again if that happened you might still be looking for the fingers…

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 06 at 03:16 AM • permalink


    1. Does anyone else here think RebeccaH is a suck up?

      Posted by wronwright on 2008 02 06 at 10:04 AM • permalink


    1. #65 Wronwright, huh?

      RebeccaH is a nice dear lady.

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 02 06 at 10:41 AM • permalink


    1. Yeah, giving those openings in/between body parts time to heal up just might be a good idea.  Just think of intestines and gall bladder mixed with the old straws and petrified fries on the floor of the car… yuck.

      Walking stick, good.  Now you need a sword cane.

      Posted by Firehand on 2008 02 06 at 11:08 AM • permalink


    1. Ash,

      Yeah, well, that’s what she wants you to think.  And before you know it, she has your job in the VRWC.

      Well, I for one am keeping an eye on her.

      Posted by wronwright on 2008 02 06 at 11:46 AM • permalink


    1. #67, Petrified fries? Maybe you should clean your car firehand…

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 06 at 11:47 AM • permalink


    1. #68, Wron, Ah the intricate Machiavellian politics of the VRWC.  Its times like this I’m glad I have little chance of advancing beyond Jackbooted Thug.

      The job title just drives all you thinking types away…

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 06 at 11:56 AM • permalink


    1. The job title just drives all you thinking scheming types away…

      Sorry its late. The brain works slowly at this time of morning.

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 06 at 12:14 PM • permalink


    1. #11, pogria, you recall what Bismarck said about the law and sausage?

      By the way, if there is a more hilarious comment section regarding cancer anywhere in the blogosphere, please point me to it.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2008 02 06 at 01:09 PM • permalink


    1. #70, sometimes I think I’d like being a Jackbooted Thug.  Orbital Laser Technician always impresses the relatives, but it’s another thing entirely when your suit is patched up with duct tape because somebody’s blown the entire Black Ops budget on Tardis maintenance and Sumerian mead.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2008 02 06 at 01:15 PM • permalink


    1. Steve, you forgot Andrea’s Zulu spear budget to keep “someone” in line.

      Imperial Keeper

      Posted by Elizabeth Imperial Keeper on 2008 02 06 at 04:58 PM • permalink


    1. #74, oh right, last I heard “somebody” was using the Tardis to try rounding up all the Zulu spears from when before Andrea got hers.  Worked real well – imagine the expression on “somebody’s” face when he shows up at the loading dock at VRWC HQ to find Andrea already there, who’d figured out where it had gone to and promptly confiscated all of them.

      And now I read that they have to remake the film Zulu, with the tribesmen using cricket bats.

      Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2008 02 06 at 05:33 PM • permalink


    1. #68 Well, I for one am keeping an eye on her.

      Eyes out all you want, wright!  I’m not after anybody’s job.

      Of course, I have cultivated my own set of minions, all in the interests of the VRWC, of course.  And I’ve offered Andrea unlimited access to Sumeria and the kingdom of Shaka Zulu, strictly as a thank you for keeping us all safe from trolls, you understand (amazing what you can get when you bribe keymakers with casks of golden mead).

      And I’d love a black helicopter of my very own.

      But I’m not after anybody’s job.  Honest.  (Well, not anybody’s. Maybe just yours.)

      Posted by RebeccaH on 2008 02 06 at 07:25 PM • permalink


    1. I guess enough time has elapsed from my last “get well soon” that I can, reasonably, offer up another.

      Get Well Soon. Seriously. Don’t do something stupid and screw the pooch in your recovery process.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2008 02 06 at 08:24 PM • permalink


    1. #73, Steve, You get a suit?  All i got was this lousy t-shirt…

      Posted by The_Wizard_of_WOZ on 2008 02 06 at 10:03 PM • permalink


    1. #68 Try working in the sub-basement of the Forbidden Folio, Prohibited Papyrii & Unchaste Encyclicals division.

      That tunnel through to the Vatican Library hasn’t been properly cleaned in centuries!

      What is more, you might think  His Eminence Raffaele Farina is easy as a bowl of porridge to get by.

      I’m here to tell you he’s got blacksmith’s forearms and fists like two jugs of Moutarde Pommery.

      Most recently, I’d secreted a pre-1962 version of the Good Friday Prayer (the one that had Catholics praying for the “perfidis Judaeis”) under the Bishop’s mitre I’d requisitioned from the Keeper.

      It was only by dint of mumbling in ever so subtle, not-quite-right Latin that I got away, leaving porridge-head scratching his beard and re-conjugating “-bimus, -bitus, -bunt” under his breath.

      Gotta love the imperfect active of a semideponent verb for getting out of a tight spot.

      Posted by MentalFloss on 2008 02 06 at 11:17 PM • permalink


    1. MentalFloss:

      Man, I hate it when you do that. I put real effort into trying to educmakate myself by searching up and reading on all those names and such that you so blithely drop in your post above.

      Got my brain so overheated I had to go soak it in cold whiskey.

      Posted by Grimmy on 2008 02 07 at 01:00 AM • permalink


    1. Grimmy
      He only does it for you. The rest of us pass by on the other side.


      Posted by J.M. Heinrichs on 2008 02 07 at 08:20 PM • permalink


    1. Tim, I’m glad to hear your recovery is going well.

      I feel like the geeky kid who got invited to the party and is so excited to just sit in the corner away from all the cool kids.  This site is fun.

      OK, back to work…sigh.

      Posted by BeckyJ on 2008 02 08 at 01:12 PM • permalink


  1. What?  There’s some cool kids here?  Show me where the bastards are, I’m going to deliver some atomic wedgies.

    I hate cool kids.  After I’m done they’ll need a proctologist to help them find their iPods.

    Posted by Steve Skubinna on 2008 02 09 at 12:25 PM • permalink