Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Chuck Long checking in from the road – this time on a train heading to Boston. After 4 days in New York City it was time to pack up the swag and venture to new parts. The jet lag is finally starting to wane although by 11pm each night, Chuck and Mrs Long are stumbling around like the living dead. Why Boston you ask? Good question. Chuck has deftly played it off to Mrs Long as an opportunity to see the Northeast of the United States at the beginning of Spring. Unfortunately Mrs Long wasn’t born yesterday and quickly realised that the Boston Red Sox happened to be playing at the same time. So much for that well thought out ruse.

New York lived up to its reputation as a place with something for everyone. The first full day in town was designated ‘shopping’ day which was a bitter sweet experience. Sweet for Chuck, extremely bitter for Mrs Long who is now more than 6 months pregnant and severely limited in her clothing options. Being the thoughtful soul that Chuck is, it was determined that the morning would be spent on Mrs Long and her sartorial needs. After a quick stop at the Nike store (ok, sometimes Chuck’s thoughtfulness wavers), it was time to hit “Destination Maternity” which may have been the most impressive maternity store that Chuck has ever been to (and the only one). This store featured brand maternity wear designed to make every woman fashionably pregnant.

It was reassuring to find that you can still grossly over pay for jeans even when you’re pregnant and the top of the jeans are removed and replaced with an elastic band. After what seemed like an eternity, Mrs Long triumphantly emerged from the fitting room in her sparkling new maternity jeans. Fortunately the shop had free juice, water and cookies to entertain the random males straggling around. Chuck also took advantage of the computer (used to look up brands) by surfing the internet. There was also considerable opportunity to offer Chuck’s couture expertise to the numerous women on solo shopping missions (potentially hundreds of bastard children on the way judging by the lack of males in the place).

It’s quite amusing watching pregnant women shop – Mrs Long being no different. This was a reasonably upmarket establishment so most of the women there obviously liked to look good and knew a little about clothing. Here was a group of well turned out ladies purchasing clothing yet at the same time hating the experience because they were both limited for options and more than likely pining for their old bodies back. From the loot that Mrs Long walked away with from the experience, it would be fair to say that nothing got her overly excited at all and that she’d be fairly excited to put in a rubbish bag the minute the child is born.

The one true advantage to this shopping expedition was that Mrs Long now had a range of outfits that actually fitted her comfortably. Well, comfortable is probably not the word that she’d use to describe the jeans, especially when they gave her a red rash all over her legs within 2 hours. Freshly outfitted (and before the rash kicked in), Chuck and Mrs Long made their way up Fifth Avenue where all of the biggest brands have an outlet. This was even more painful for Mrs Long as she couldn’t even try anything on that caught her eye – despite Chuck suggesting that a “purchase and hope” strategy could be used. This strategy involves buying things in your pre pregnancy size and then hoping that it fits once you’ve had the child.

Mrs Long wasn’t buying this (figuratively or literally).

Sunday was spent at a sporting event.

Monday was spent strolling through Central Park and visiting the Guggenheim Museum. Central Park is amazing on a number of levels – from the sheer size of it in the middle of a concrete jungle, to how lovely it actually is. Visiting Strawberry Fields (the park that John Lennon used to hang out in) was a cool experience. The Guggenheim had an art exhibition featured which wasn’t nearly as impressive as the wing where they displayed a range of Picasso’s, Monets, Cezannes and a variety of other classics.

The day concluded with a trip to the meatpacking district, which surprisingly is not a gay nightclub scene. As the name suggests, the area was New Yorks supplier and distributor of meat products, In recent times, redevelopment has seen the area become significantly more upmarket with the warehouses being transformed into galleries, boutiques and restaurants. The cobblestone streets give off an old school vibe but the atmosphere is most definitely ‘cool’. Chuck and Mrs Long took a punt on a restaurant called Spice Market which served some new wave Asian fusion food (so described by Cheryl, the hostess who told us we would have Fun and then proceeded to use the word FUN 9 more times – yes Chuck counted). The food was delicious, as too was the Kumquat Mohito that Chuck had to sample twice to confirm.

3 days in Boston, then back to New York for 5 more days.


Monday, April 19, 2010

We're leavin, on a jet plane....

The mission: travel to New York with a 6 month pregnant wife for a ‘last chance’ holiday.

With Chuck and Mrs Longs first spawn looming merely 3 months away, it was decided that a trip away was in order. After all, this will be the last time the group performs as a duo before forming a 3-piece with a new member who will no doubt be the centre of attention and require significant amounts of coddling – much like Bono really.

While on paper travelling for 20 hours to reach a holiday destination seems like a walk in the park, things quickly solidify in one’s head once seated in cattle class and the realisation sets in that you’re no longer travelling with the hardy woman who sprang out of bed each morning after 4 hours sleep with a mobilised game plan for the day ahead. No, on this holiday Chuck would be travelling with a walking baby incubator who needs time to stretch, time to rest and who could no longer move at a breakneck pace.

The trip from Sydney to Los Angeles (12.5 hours) got off to a good start when the check-in clerk kindly provided an entire row to Chuck and Mrs Long. Chuck was undaunted at the thought of his legs being used as a pillow for the vast majority of the trip and as a matter of full disclosure did scheme for about the first 30 seconds of the flight at the possibility of ‘air –head’ before Mrs Long shot the thought out of the sky. The flight ended up being delayed for one and a half hours which enabled Chuck to spend the remainder of his Australian dollars on essential items such as mobile phone screen protectors and neck pillows. Interestingly enough, the airline assured the passengers that they could make up time in the air which begs the question; “why not make up time in the air on every flight?”

The flight was unspectacular which is exactly what you want really since spectacular would normally imply things like crashing, mid flight medical emergencies or Ralph Fiennes chopping up an ex prostitute flight attendant in the toilet. The 13 hour flight did provide Chuck with the opportunity to shatter the all time Long record of 8 movies in one sitting however. Starting with the Tom Ford’s written and directed “Single Man” Chuck settled in for the long haul. Chuck’s no movie critic but after sitting through Ford’s first foray into movies, Chuck would suggest that Tom sticks to fashion and being uber cool.

Chuck managed to continue dodging Avatar, making him one of 500 people in the world to be able to say that and deftly skipped Paranormal Activity citing the tried and tested excuse that the screen was too small to do it justice (when in reality, Chuck had no interest in scaring himself witless). Other movies that didn’t overly impress – The Informant & the Art of Lying. In fact, the movie situation got so dire that Chuck found himself turning to flicks such as Iron Man, the Hangover and Juno to get him through.

Mrs Long battled through like the utmost trooper she is, taking regular breaks to stave off Deep Vein Thrombosis and using the bathroom so frequently that Delta Airlines are now considering naming it after her. Airline food can a bowel blocking experience at the best of times but having to consider what you eat so as not to contract listeria is doubly challenging. Mrs Long worked the airline menu like a heavy weight champion working a speed bad – deftly.

Touching down in LA generated a sense of relief and excitement. The wait at Sydney airport only resulted in 45 minute delay in arrival time which meant 2 hours remained until the flight to New York. The Long family cleared customs with no cavity searches required and after thanking the Gods of International travel that both bags arrived, headed for the departure lounge. After stepping out of the elevator and taking a right, all sense of calm was shattered by a winding line that stretched outside the terminal. Chuck posed the question to an airline employee “what’s the queue?” and was told “oh, that’s the security line”. Now Chuck is a somewhat frequent business traveller and perhaps has been spoiled by Australia’s “30 minutes prior to arrival” check in policy but this was ridiculous. With an hour and a half until the flight, the end of the line didn’t make for optimism.

After standing in line for 20 minutes without moving, Chuck decided that it was time to get radical (in other words, plead for assistance). Informing the airline staff that Chuck’s flight was leaving in 40 minutes or so seemed to work as Chuck and Mrs Long were moved to another line. This one moved somewhat faster but still resulted in slowly shuffling to a check point where our passport and ticket was inspected with an infrared light and signed buy a friendly yet slow attendant. This checkpoint didn’t get you on the plane however – no, this check point allowed you to move onto the x-ray line, where once again Chuck slowly shuffled along, removing laptops, wallets and shoes in order to get through. By now it was 8.39 with the flight departing at 8.40 so needless to say, tensions were mounting as passengers were staring down the barrel of missing their plane.

Mrs Long made a mad pregnant ladies dash to for the jet while Chuck looked around for his favourite US magazine (no it wasn’t Hustler). Mrs Long managed to wedge her non swollen ankle (a feat that she proudly bragged “look, i still have my skinny ankles!”) into the plane’s door and Chuck ambled to his seat.

Now, this is where the grind really set in. The thought of another 5 hours in the air generated that all-over body heat that makes you itch and uncomfortable. On top of this, Chuck was operating on about 15 minutes sleep over the last 24 hours. What made things tougher (and caused Chuck and Mrs Long to question their choice to reproduce) was the Japanese infant 1 row behind that grizzled for 5 continuous hours. It wasn’t a cry, it was a nonstop, eardrum-grating whine that penetrated the core of Chuck’s soul. It is times like those when you either despise the parents or feel for them. Imagine how embarrassing it would be knowing that an entire aircraft hated your 6 month old child?

Chuck did manage to get in 2 hours of zombie sleep (when you’re half asleep but wake up every 45 minutes with your mouth wide open and your head resting on the person next to you – usually not the person you’re travelling with). The announcement that the plane was preparing to land brought with it a surge of adrenalin – New York.

The cab ride into Manhattan reaches the point of awesome the moment you see the skyline. Chuck and Mrs Long were staying in an upscale establishment in the heart of the city so after a brief stop to freshen up, it was time to take one of our last strolls as a couple (until the child is sent off to boarding school in Switzerland). It was a brisk evening with rain in the air, but the cold was the refresher that we need to kick start the holiday. Mrs Long showed the heart of a lion throughout the travel period, which is a good thing since her stamina will be tested again tomorrow when the shopping takes place – stay tuned.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


Dear Chuck,

My name is currently anonymous to the media but I was recently photographed being put into a cab by a high profile sportsman who’s just   broken up with his girlfriend.

I met him at the bar that night and he was quite the gentleman. He asked for my number and he’s taking me out for dinner next week. I’ve never been out with anyone famous before, do you think he could possibly be genuinely interested in me or is he just using me to get back at his ex? And should I be wary of dating a high profile sportsman?

Your advice appreciated,

Dear Tara,

Before you go out on your dinner date, Chuck wants you to do two things.

1)    Sit down at you kitchen table and list everything good and bad about your life.
2)    Ask yourself whether you’re an introvert or extrovert.

Lets start with point 1. If you’ve been honest and exhaustive you’ll likely have a fairly interesting list. If your good list is longer than the bad, Chuck is genuinely happy for you. Unfortunately, if this dinner date goes well and you hook up with the sportsmen we all think you’re seeing, you may as well dump that list on its head because you’re about to become public property and you’ll never be able to experience the vast majority of things on that list again.

Now Chuck knows that sounds fairly harsh, but lets be honest, if you hook up with this particular sportsman every person who’s ever bought a Woman’s Day (and a plethora of blokes who secretly read it in the checkout line at the shops) will be insanely interested in you and your life. Welcome to the fishbowl. You have to remember that his last woman was an attention seeking ho and the general public isn’t going to take it well if his new flame doesn’t burst onto the scene and showcase every inappropriate phone photo that’s ever been taken.

On top of that, you’ll be endlessly compared to his last tart (for better or worse) and the first time you’re ever snapped snorting cocaine off a toilet seat in a dodgy nightclub at 4am you’ll immediately be branded the second coming of her. Yes, you may be a totally classy lass but you’ll be operating in her shadow for quite some time.

If your list had a number of bad things on it you’re well and truly fucked. If the bad stuff includes criminal charges, drugs, depression, molestation or  myriad other seedy things then at some stage or another that’s all going to end up in the public domain. Of course you could take all that stuff and parlay it into a decent payday from any number of magazines but do you really want your life on display?

On to point 2. If you’re an introvert, you need to steer well and truly clear of this relationship since you’ll forever be on public display and thus be permanently uncomfortable. And if you try to remain an introvert, you’ll be labelled a moody cow. When you’re with a high profile athlete you kind of become high profile yourself which means that you’ll be out of your comfort zone on a regular basis.

You’re in better shape if you’re an extrovert, but you’ll need to remember that his last girlfriend was an extrovert and that’s ultimately what got her booted (and because she seemed to be a slapper). If things work out and you end up together you’re going to get tons of airtime. Being an extrovert means that you like being out and about, which also means that you are presenting yourself to the media on a regular basis. One too many shots of you falling out of a nightclub will lead to howls that you were exactly like his last one. Perhaps you try to reign in your excursions, but then you’re just compromising your life.

Finally, one last negative thing to think about – he’s an international athlete. You’ll see him about 3 months of the calendar year and since he’s fresh out of a relationship, he’ll be looking to tag as much road beef as he can in every port that he calls into. You’d want to play this one cool and let him shag his brains out for a while and then move in for the kill once he has picked up some foreign strains of Chlamydia and gotten his wanderlust out of the system (and the clap has cleared up too).

Now for some upside.

He may be a totally decent bloke who realised that he was with the wrong bird and is looking for a decent chick to settle down with. If that’s the case, he’ll work with you to minimise exposure and you may be stepping into a totally exciting new world. Lets consider the positives:

1)    Sweet tickets to the cricket – you’ll have awesome seats to every international game. If you don’t like cricket that’s a stinger but Chuck bets you’ll never be closer to your dad and brothers again since they’ll be scrambling for free tickets too.
2)    He lives in a 6 million dollar pad on Bondi Beach. Chuck bets you wouldn’t mind scrubbing the shower to wake up there every day?
3)    He bought his last GF a 200k car
4)    Strong chance he’d get your name tattooed onto himself somewhere
5)    Free Bonds underwear
6)    You’d get into numerous hotspots around Australia
7)    You could supplement your income by selling life stories to gossip mags
8)    You could touch the Ashes!

Tara, at the end of the day, its your call. Who knows, you may be blessed with grace and dignity and can handle the additional scrutiny and prying from the media. On the other hand, he may need some rebound pussy and you’re it. Who knows how this things will play out?

Chuck suggests you go to dinner with him and treat it just like any other date that you’ve been on. Hopefully there’s some chemistry and things progress. And if worst comes to worst ask for two tickets to the next test match in Australia and give Chuck a call!

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Dear Chuck,

My 45 year old husband has grown out his hair and refuses to get it cut no matter how hard I protest. He is a businessman and looks totally silly in a suit with that mop. Worse yet, on weekends he wears it in a ponytail. Why would a guy do this?



Dear Beth,

Chuck went to college with a guy who used to scream “HEY LONGHAIR” every time he saw a well coiffed young man. At the time Chuck thought it was hilarious because he’d do it no matter when or where he was at the top of his lungs. In retrospect, it was probably a homophobic act, especially when you consider that the guy who was doing it was a hard-core redneck. Ahh the follies of youth! Anyway, now whenever Chuck sees a bloke with lengthy tresses, HEY LONGHAIR immediately rings in his head.

It is a simple fact that no man looks good with long hair – well except Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder (that’s an extremely subjective opinion since Chuck’s had a man crush on him since the early 90’s). Seriously, sit down with a note pad and pen and jot down every longhaired dude that gets your motor running?

Well, that didn’t go so well, Chuck just posed the question to Mrs Long who instantaneously responded – “Johnny Depp has always had a bit of a mane”. Let’s make Eddie and Johnny the exceptions to the rule and continue. It’s always alarming when an older guy grows his hair out because you typically attribute long straggly hair to homeless people or paedophiles. If your husband has started to accrue plastic bags and shopping carts then you should have serious concerns.

Now if your husband is oblivious to how bad he looks in a suit with long hair and pays no attention to your complaints you can either try to rally his co-workers to your cause and hope that they can drum some sense into him or get your kids to start barking at him. You’re in trouble if he is a senior guy at work because no one will have the nuts to confront him for fear of ex-communication and career damnation. Plus some of the younger males at his workplace may actually like this anti-establishment look that he is going for. The kids may be the best option since it would be a stinger to his pride if his kids refuse to hang out with him because he looks like a wanna-be porn star, especially when his hair is in ponytail mode.

We’re about 500 words into this post so it’s probably time for Chuck to get serious. Anytime a guy clicks into his 40’s and pulls a stunt like growing his hair out you have to consider mid-life crisis. On the mid-life crisis scale, long hair probably ranks as a 1. Things can be a whole lot worse, lets take a look at some other common signs of mid life crisis:

Drinking or gambling. Looking for additional thrills or trying to mix things up, men may turn to gambling as a means to add excitement. The drinking may be to dull depression or as an opportunity to get out and about with some younger company. If your husband is a senior dude at work, imagine the glee the junior staff will have at the realisation that the boss is out buying drinks and getting into mischief. Plus it presents an opportunity for him to nail chicks from the office.

Ploughing through the family’s life savings. He probably thinks he’s worked hard all his life to amass this financial nest egg and is now wondering if it was all worth it. He may even believe he deserves a Porshe or a boat despite the fact that you have three young kids who wont fit or that he has never been on a sea-going vessel before.

Sudden career change.  Here he is, working his guts out doing something that pays decent coin. All of a sudden he decides he isn’t getting any satisfaction from his 200k per year job and goes out and buys a lawn mowing round.. Kid’s private education be damned. Worse yet, he didn’t mention this career change to you until he did it.

Affair. This is the apex of mid life crisis. Your husband has spent many years as a faithful family man. He hits a point where he feels stagnant and old and all of the sudden he’s hanging out with 22 year old uni students thinking that he is the second coming of Hugh Hefner.

Consider yourself blessed Beth that he hasn’t gone completely off the deep end….yet. The stupid long hair could be the first sign of things to come so you probably want to get pro active and try to figure out what the fuck is going on in his head. This new look may be depression manifesting itself so you’ll want to address it before it gets worse and spirals out of control.

This may also be an opportunity for you to re-evaluate your lifestyle as well. Perhaps you guys are stuck in a rut and need a change. Chuck’s not suggesting that you go out and pork a bar tender but maybe you could load the family into a camper van and take a time out to get to know each other. In that instance you could buy your husband a cheesecloth shirt, some linen pants and a combi van and find some remote beachside town where you guys can embrace your inner hippy. Your kids experience a different lifestyle out of the city, your husband can smoke bongs and get his hair braided and you can maintain your family. It’s only a year living as an itinerant – who knows, perhaps 12 months of hobo living will make him realise just how good he had it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sweet Ez Cuzzy Bro

Dear Chuck,

Last night I went to a concert with some friends and met a guy called Gary through my friend Kev. He’s seemed nice to talk to and I’ll admit he was pretty easy on the eye.
After the concert my other friend Kuda gave us a lift home including Gary.
In the back of the car I sat next to Gary, who started getting a bit familiar by giving the side of my leg a slight rub then progressed to holding my hand. At first I was ignoring his advances then I reciprocated. Do you think this is a bit full on for someone I’ve only just met?
Also, during the drive I noticed Kuda drove past Kev’s place so I said ‘Aren’t we going to drop off Kev first?’
 ‘Ladies first.’ Replied Kuda.
Then Gary jumps in and says ‘yeah aren’t you meant to put the shit before the shovel?’
I laughed in disbelief and said ‘well you just lost points there’ then he tried to argue that to be funny you sometimes had to be un-PC and potentially offend somebody.
Although I think it was a pretty dumb thing to say should I let this go or take it as a huge warning sign to not go out with him if he calls?

Thanks a bill,
Charmaine Beer

P.S. He’s also a New Zealander.

Dear Charmaine,

A couple of weeks ago Chuck was watching ‘The Biggest Loser’ because it makes Chuck feel better about himself. As Chuck sat on the couch performing Kegel exercises (little known fact, Kegel exercises work for men, strengthening the pubococcygeal muscles which aid in better boners and greater ejaculation control….not that Chuck has a problem with that old chestnut) and delivering scorn to the fatties on the screen, it soon became apparent that the hefty people had been airlifted to New Zealand in yet another attempt to get to the root of their gluttonous demons.

In an effort to deliver some sort of deeper meaning to the trip, the show’s producers introduced a number of traditional Maori greeting songs that culminated with the Maori’s performing a ‘hongi’ – a welcome that consists of rubbing or touching of noses. The literal meaning of hongi is “sharing of breath” which in this instance would have meant that the Maori’s would have received a generous dose of McDonalds breath. Fortunately for the fatties the Maori’s didn’t confuse the Aussie pronunciation of ‘hongi’ with ‘hangi’ as that would have resulted in the big people being buried underground with hot rocks and being cooked – although that would have made for compelling viewing and fed the entire population of the South Island of New Zealand.

Anyway, Chuck digresses.

The reason for that awesome tale? Well since Gary’s a New Zealander it is highly likely that he’s taken the nose rubbing greeting from his homeland and attempted to put his own spin on it. In this case he has tried the leg rubbing ‘I want to bone you’ technique.

As far as Chuck is concerned, it’s kind of a bullshit move, especially since you and he don’t appear to have had any interplay leading up to the leg interaction. Don’t get Chuck wrong, in many men’s younger days, the leg rub in a close confined space was a standard issue first move which kind of suggested that you were interested without the risk of having to ask and be rejected. Japanese men have taken this style to whole new levels, especially on public transport and instead of rubbing your leg with their hand they use their dick!

And then to follow it up with a handhold is weak sauce too. It really is like asking someone out without actually having to do any work for it. Just lazy dating.

It does pain Chuck that you reciprocated on the hand-holding. As a lady, you cant reinforce that sort of behaviour because if he is cutting corners on his first advance, imagine what he’s going to be like if you ever end up going out? Stop right now and think about all the foreplay you’ve had in your life…. most men aren’t fantastic lets be honest. Now, think about how much effort this squeezer is going to put in after securing your interest with a seedy old man leg rub and a random hand hold? You may as well rent out the space where your clitoris is located since it will never be used again!

The ONLY way that this move is acceptable is if he is a mute and even then, surely he could have found an old receipt and a pen and written you a note?

“Dear Charmaine, can I rub your leg and hold your hand????”

So Chuck’s sorted out part 1 of the equation for you. Bullshit move

Part 2? It’ll come as no surprise to you that Chuck is none to impressed with your boy’s performance. As the old saying goes “You only have one chance to make a first impression”. Gazza has blown his load in dramatic fashion, first feeling you up in the car and then coming across as a monosyllabic imbecile with that corny line he ran out. Don’t get Chuck wrong, there have been numerous occasions where Chuck has had to pull the size 11’s out of his mouth after going for an un-politically correct laugh, but it’s when, where and with whom that is critical.

If he liked you enough to be touching you up in the car and putting the squeeze on your paw, then surely he could have checked his mouth or at least read the play a little better. He has just met you so trialing any of his un-PC material is not the safest way to go as he has no means of knowing how you’ll react. Secondly, dropping that line in a car with more than one woman is dangerous since if one reacts adversely, the other will immediately get her back. Damn, don’t they teach this shit at “How to be a Man” camps anymore like back in the day?

While his line was cheesy, old and unfunny, it’s probably not enough to cut him loose except for the fact that he went with the inappropriate leg touching technique first…. and because he’s from New Zealand! All signs point to no if he should call.