Things I would rather do than read

Part 1: Opening arguments

I’d rather drink a cup of milk in a bank than read The Great Gatsby.

I haven’t read Lord of the Rings but I have tried ordering a Ronald MacDonald Meal from MacDonald’s and I’d do it again before opening any book whatsoever. Books are perilous.

American Psycho? Nah. I’d rather train to be a celebrant and wage a small business on officiating holy matrimony with the catchphrase ‘youse may now tonsil hockey your soulmate.’

Clouds themselves are pescatarian which is why I am banned from reading Animal Farm.

I have no need to read The Communist Manifesto because I believe in an interventionist tooth fairy.

I would rather play a theremin with a boneless puck of chicken everyday for two days than read On The Road by Jack Kerouac.

Stubbing my third biggest toe on the edge of my second best friend’s father is something I would rather do than read any single thing by Jordan Peterson.

I would rather sit on my couch with chapped lips and watch half an episode of How I Met Your Mother than read What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond “Romano” Carver.

I would rather have the phrase ‘clown bread hehe bread clown haha’ on loop in my head and suffer a mild iron deficiency on the day I go for my P-plates than read The Barefoot Investor.


Part 2: Evidence

‘In space no-one can hear your property portfolio.’

– HG Wells (War of the Worlds)

‘I’m thinking of a number between 1 and 400.’

– Mary Shelley (Frankenstein)

‘There was movement at the station, for the word had passed around
That a guy named Gavin had a ham in his satchel

And that ham grew up to be Elon Musk’

– Banjo “Henry Lawson” Paterson (The Man from Snowy River)

‘That’s the way it’s gonna be, little darling”

We’ll be riding on the horses…… yes

Way up in the sky, little darling (darling)

And if you fall? I’ll pick you up, pick you up’

– Dorothy MacKeller (I love sunburn)


Part 3: Reasons why

Reasons I never read Infinite Jest:

  1. For a long time I thought David Foster Wallace and Phillip Seymour Hoffman were the same person.

Reasons I never read Great Expectations by Charles Dickens:

  1. Annoying voice.
  2. Small font.
  3. Rich people wearing gloves that come up to their shoulders.

Reasons I never read 1984 by George Orwell:

  1. Incomprehensible title.
  2. Set in the past.

Reasons I never read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen:

  1. Sounds pretty full-on for a book whose title is teeming with alliteration.

Reasons I never read Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger:

  1. Saw a guy with a coldsore reading it.

Reasons I never read the Man Booker Prize-winning novel, The Chant of Jimmie Blacksmith by Thomas Keneally:

  1. Literary equivalent of White person with dreadlocks wearing pants cut from a pattern that can only be described as ‘snow camo’.

Reasons I never finished reading Moby Dick by Herman Melville:

  1. Misleading title.
  2. A lot of yelling.
  3. Not raunchy at all.
  4. Whale murders.
  5. Too many sentences.


Part 4: Witnesses as famous author bios retold from memory

Richard Flanagan (born October 17, 1972), and known professionally as Eminem, is a human windsock who is said to be so angry at the sun he can’t even look at it.

Germaine Greer is an act of stagecraft in which a person changes his or her voice so that it appears that the voice is coming from elsewhere, usually a puppeteered prop, known as a “transphobia”. The act of Germaine Greer is called being a careerist hatemonger, and the ability to do so is commonly called in English the ability to “throw” one’s voice.

The Barefoot Investor (born December 12, 1955) was in the crowd when American President John F. Kennedy emerged from the Hotel Texas in Fort Worth, Texas on the morning of his assassination on November 22, 1963. Footage of an eight-year-old The Barefoot Investor being lifted onto the shoulders of his father can be seen in the famous Zapruder film, a silent 8mm color motion picture sequence shot bystander Abraham Zapruder which captured Kennedy’s assassination. The Zapruder film, kept from public viewing for years, has evolved into one of the most viewed films in history, and is now available on the internet for public access.

Run For Your Life: a memoir by Bob Carr is about a political scientist who uses genius-baby studies to fund BabyCo’s theme park “Joyworld”. According to Bob Carr’s research on toddlers/babies—research he syphoned while on various campaign trails—babies are born possessing vast, universal knowledge and speak a secret yet impossible-to-translate baby pre-language called Babytalk. However, at age 2–3, the knowledge and language are lost as the babies “cross over” by learning how to wear three piece suits. Most of the babies raised in Bob Carr’s underground research facility were adopted from the Sydney City orphanage, transformed into little geniuses through use of the Carr Method, and then used in experiments to decipher this secret yet impossible-to-translate language used by the seven baby-geniuses.

Tim Winton (born June 13, 1974), better known by his stage name Tim Winton, is an actor, stunt performer, producer, stand-up comedian, author, musician and clown. He holds British, American, Canadian, and Western Australian citizenship. Tim forged a literary career with his breakthrough title Jackass, its related sequels, and its spin-off series Wildboyz.

Tim Winton is known for his eccentric character. He has a number of tattoos, which he refers to as “silly ink”, including “Your Name” written on his right buttock (in order to say “I got your name tattooed on my ass” Tim is quoted as saying in his article written for the Guardian in 2018 entitled ‘I didn’t want to write this but the courage to get Your Name tattooed on my ass is vanishing’). Tim also has a tattoo portrait of himself which covers half of his back and sports the words “yeah dude, I rock!”

On May 22, 2003, Tim Winton was arrested and jailed while in Adelaide due to footage of himself swallowing a condom containing a mandarin to get it past authorities while flying across state borders. He then regurgitated it live on stage, which he showed in his DVD, Cloudstreet.

In mid-2005, Tim became the spokesperson for Paul’s Warehouse. Television commercials promoting the shoe company included such acts as Tim Winton diving into a satellite full of Lego, getting his foot bitten by a baby, and drinking rotten Yakult from a leather clog. Tim’s slogan was, “They’re darn good shoes.”

On August 9, 2018, Tim Winton climbed onto the roof of the Queen’s Wharf Tower in Newcastle, NSW, to protest against writers who haven’t written books. While on top of the tower, Tim lit fireworks and dropped his keys. He broadcasted the stunt on his Instagram story and was later arrested.

For the protest, Tim was convicted of two counts of being middle class and multiple counts of being Tim Winton. He was sentenced to having a newly discovered species of fruit fly named after him. Timophila Wintonelanogaster. He claims he told his attorney to get gaol time because it would increase the publicity and make a statement about writers who haven’t written books appearing at writers’ festivals. Tim started his gaol time on September 27, 2018. He is quoted as saying on public record “I mean, if your goal is to make a statement about writers who haven’t written books, you may as well get yourself locked up!”

Tim Winton served only 15 minutes and was released from jail after becoming irreversibly irrelevant.


Part 5: Closing argument

I have tried to recreate events, locales, biographies, spinach pies, and conversations from my memories of them. I have tried. The stories, memories, all names, characters, Eminem and incidents portrayed in this poem are semi-fictitious at the time of print. In order to maintain authenticity, I have written them down. No identification with actual persons (living, deceased, or suspended), places, buildings, or products is intended. Any resemblance is either coincidental or clown bread .



Dan Hogan is a non-binary bogan, teacher, and writer from San Remo. They tweet @packetofchips and youse can find more of their work at

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