“What is the A.E.S.M?” asked John.
“I thought you would never ask,” said Amelia. “It is the Alien
Ethnic Society and Melissa.”
“Umm… OK said John.
“Hey who are these morons?” said Wild Will.
The two members of the A.E.S.M., one a cynical Russian Canadian, the other and eccentric Eurasian Australian stare blankly at Wild Will. How odd thought the Russian Canadian girl.
“Oh forgive me for being rude,” said Amelia. “That there is Melissa, we call her Gandhi and that is Chris, we call him Tori Pocoshrew.”
“How’s it going eh?” said Melissa.
“Nooninooninooninoo,” said Chris.
“There is another member, Antonia but she is not here,” said Amelia.
“Oh what, did Wild Will eat her?” said John sarcastically.
“No she is a distance member,” said Melissa.
- In search of a name (You’re So Amy I bet you Think This Story Is
About You!) June 2006
As promised here is an entry about some of the most important people in my life also known as the A.E.S.M.
I remember the day the A.E.S.M. (The Alien Ethnic Society and Melissa). (sometimes also referred to as the A.E.S.M…also Kate) was formed over two years ago for some reason I don’t remember. Perhaps it was a formation of our long lasting iconic friendship. It’s an iconic name and group, whose activities and adventures I remember frequently through out my time. I consider the A.E.S.M to be one of the most significant things about my visit to Australia. I remember our special group to be a time of creativity, the stories I wrote, the movies we made and of bonding, the Rockhampton Show and our random meetings at shopping fair and the uni library.
This is how I first described the A.E.S.M over two years ago.
“Ah yes the A.E.S.M. The Alien Ethnic Society and Melissa.
Chris and Amy came up with it, the reason is Chris is Eurasian, Amy is
Italian…actually she is part South Sea Islander I think, Antonia is from Hong
Kong and I am from Canada. Chris reckons we should find an organization to
support. Are symbol would be a picture of me as Ghandi. Hmm… I have interesting
friends. I don’t think I will meet anyone like them ever again. It must have
been fate that I ended up here in Australia. I think tomorrow when I am not so
tired I will draft rules for the club just for the heck of it.”
- June, 2
The original members were:
Amy: One of my best friends here in Australia. We can talk about anything. I still have no way of explaining my inspiration to talk about Bollywood, one of her many obsessions with her that one day because it’s not something I usually talk about or really have a profound interest in, although I do like it. The time I have spent with her felt like we had been friends for years. It hardly occurred to me that she lived in Canberra for most of it. Carol said I had it coming because I abandoned her, but I knew straight away our friendship was different. I always looked forward to seeing her again, because every time she came back she had changed so much and but she always felt like the same Amy I always knew, like we had never really been apart for months at a time. I always felt like I had grown more whenever I came into her midst. We partied both New Years here the second one surely showed how much we changed. I still remember the day she left for Canberra. She is a beautiful person and I will really miss her when I am back in Canada.
Chris: He is seriously my muse. Half the stuff in Superheroes was developed just by random musing, brainstorming talking about ideas and strange conversations that know one understood but us and seemed to confound those that happened to over hear it except for Amy. I remember talking about my writing efforts with Chris at least once or twice every time I saw him and quite frequently through text messages and msn. Sometimes it was the only thing we talked about, whether it was Carol stories, Wild Will, or Song of the Superheroes. I also let him be the first to see certain bits of stories as his input and approval were highly important. I still remember the first thing Chris said to me. “You’re from Canada. Alanis Morissette is my idol.”
My all time favourite quote from Chris was just after the Rockhampton Show in 2006 and we were waiting for pizza and he suddenly said “When I have a child I’ll name it Melissa…if it’s a boy.” Everyone in the car burst out laughing. Chris is the only that can make me laugh till I cry. I’ve lost track how many times that has happened now.
My favourite memory was when we played Monopoly and randomly named all the pieces after Song of the Superheroes characters. All I remember is the money bags was Philis because it is fat, the iron was Sarah because it symbolised what a woman is supposed to do and the car was Officer Octogenarian because it was sleek and stylish. I wish I had written the others down. Chris also came to believed he corner powers whenever we played Monopoly.
All my flatmates most likely think that I am obsessed with Chris and Amy as I used to talk about them all the time. I always thought and truly believed that they were the coolest. My current flatmate Justine thought I was hyping Chris up before she met him. She said. Surely no one could be that cool, but I met him and he was. Well of course you think I would lie about a thing as important as coolness. I’ll miss him heaps too.
Antonia: Sadly, I’ve lost contact with her now. However, the time spent with her was memorable. I remember how she used to say “sure, sure.” Amy, Chris and I would often say how beautiful she was. My favourite memory of Antonia was the first of the A.E.S.M. productions of A Flat To Myself in which she died by poison lemonade.
Kinwai: He always stuck me as someone who is really quiet. I never really talked to him much, but I liked him. I remember how he used to come and meet Antonia after Media Ethics and collect 10 cent pieces for her. Amy and I used to say that he obviously really liked her you could just tell.
Kate: I’ve lost contact with Kate over the past year, but the time we did spend together was fun. Especially when we filmed Flat to Myself 2: How Convenient and our random clubbing escapades with Chris. We also used to discuss Superheroes but differently.
And of course me which is pretty self explanatory.
Others have become honorary members
P.S. Wild Will
And some significant rules have been broken (more about that later.)
The original rules of the A.E.S.M. were…
AESM (Alien Ethnic Society and Melissa)
Statement of Principles and Guidelines
1. This is
the most important rule: Friends are first always. This principle out weighs all
2. Joan is not allowed into the AESM, under no circumstances, if
allowed in. It shall be called AESEM Alien Ethnic Society Excluding Melissa.
Posters shall be made to accompany this rule.
3. No Americans aloud, unless
they are nice and they know Canadians don’t live in igloos, are lumberjacks or
use dog sleds as a mode of transportation. Melissa gets very offended when they
4. Martians are ok, they can join anytime
5. “Eh” is a
Canadian word :)
6. Believe in the principles set forth by Gandhi, looking
up on him and his life is essential.
7. You must be ethnic in origin being
from a city or town doesn’t count.
8. Learn the secret handshake and goodbye
salute, which is currently in the developmental stages
9. Being a distant
member is allowed, but keeping in contact with you ASEM friends while abroad is
very important or you will be deemed an inactive member. No one likes them.
10. Bollywood is an excellent form of entertainment
must like Alanis Morissette or at least some of her songs.
12. Wild Will is
Melissa’s imaginary dog hero. You must not make fun of this, you also read all
Principle 9 has been the most consistent and now that I am going to be even more distant from the A.E.S.M . I think it as well as The first one on the list is the most important.
The most significant rules to be broken were Principle 5 I hardly every say Canadian words anymore, Principle 8 no secret handshake was every developed although we did share secret wisdom and friendship, and most importantly….
Principle 2! No Joans allowed, blah, blah you know the rest. Chris even memorised it.
It was sadly created at a time when I was in the midst of a love hate relationship with Joan. Not to mention one sided as I was the one who drafted and created these principles and guidelines. Since this time, I come to be good friends with Joan despite the rocky start and some strange pointless arguments later. She is really the only friend that I argue with the most and the only one that can get a rise out of me. Sometimes we don’t see eye to eye and for some reason I turn into a scarlety monster or as Joan put it ‘a down right bitch.’ Which let’s face it I can be. For some reason Joan is the only one who can push my buttons and is allowed to anger me and get away with it. Chris once said that I like Joan but on my own terms. She made for some interesting stories, like the one time she made me eat lemon me-rang pie of the floor. Her annoyingness is one of her many eccentric and dazzling characteristics that I have come to tolerate and I am not sure if I like sometimes, despite people (I am not naming anyone) telling me I shouldn’t be friends with her. (Everyone is entitled to there own opinions.)And because she is an important person in my life it’s fitting that this principle should be changed or altogether eliminated, but I want to leave it for ironies sake. Principle 2 has been broken Joan can be a member of the A.E.S.M. Seeing as it’s all about friendship and not exclusion. I made a new rule that contradicts it and to eliminate the exclusionary principle altogether. I apologise for this rule and I apologise to Joan if she ever felt excluded from our group or uninvited. So you can be rest assured that it will still be the A.E.S.M. and not the A.E.S.E.M. unless you count me leaving for Canada? In which case the second name would be very fitting, but in completely different circumstances. So here it is.
Lucky Principle 13: Guidelines can be changed to suit circumstances. For example Principle 2 which was undeniably harsh and exclusionary.
I guess you could say it’s the new A.E.S.M. It’s out with the old and in with the new.
P.S.: Wild Will Rocks
Another highlight of the A.E.S.M. is the stories written and inspired by it’s members old and new. Five stories well (six if you count the last chapter in the second series of Wild Will vs. The A.E.S.M stories) were written specifically about members, tailored to their eccentricities or things that we joked about. In total there were nine stories, littered with off centred humour, inside jokes, meanness regrettably towards certain non-members and most importantly Wild Will, Amy’s cult figure and ‘my imaginary dog hero.’
In search of a name (You’re So Amy I bet you Think This Story Is About You!)
A Flat to Myself…(You’re so Chris… I bet you think this story is
Antonia French and the 12 Dozen Singing Dogs(You’re so
Antonia I bet you think this story is about you.)
The Horror of
Love…(You’re so Kinwai…this story is definitely not about you.)
Will and Melissa the Writer vs. Justin and Joan P.S. Ruthless Roy
Multimedia of Problems Part 1: The created turns on the creator
Multimedia of Problems Part 2: It’s all in the name
Multimedia of Problems Part 3: You’re so Kate…this story IS about you!
Then of course I can go with out mentioning Song of the Superheroes.
“Melissa! I want to be in a different story,” said Wild
Will. “Write me in a different one or I will eat you.”
“What is a Kate
featured story not good enough for you?” Chris asked.
Melissa writes a
paragraph or two in her notebook about Wild Will. She then shows it to Wild
“A cameo appearance?” said Wild Will. “Whose idea was this?”
“Amy’s,” said Melissa.
- A Multimedia of Problems Part 3: You’re so Kate…this story IS about you!
I guess you could say Wild Will needed a bigger place to run a muck, being the wanker of a Rottweiler he is. I don’t know if it can be directly related, but Song of the Superheroes never would have been if it weren’t for my friends in the A.E.S.M who gave me the inspiration. Scarily I had a whole plan to turn the A.E.S.M. stories into a novel called What is the Meaning of this Madness?! Now I know that it wasn’t meant to be but these nine stories were actually preludes to something much bigger and very special to me, my first ever novel. Not to mention my favourite offbeat character I created three years before I came to Australia arrived in a proper story Song of the Superheroes and he will be a fully fledged main character in the sequels to come. This is all because of the A.E.S.M.
P.S. Wild Will Rocks My Socks
One thing I remember specifically that involved the original four members of the A.E.S.M. was the Flat To Myself franchise. Sometimes when it rains I think about it, Antonia coming out of the fridge, Amy being impaled by a scrub brush, (I am so taking that brush back to Canada! :P) Chris being Chris and me being a narrating ghost. I think about the sequel especially when I was procrastinating for a big assignment the next day, (as it was made the day before I had two assignments due.) I reminisced about Kate and her basket ball throwing and Chris, with the pictures of Antonia (which I think was a heart) and Amy (a pair of boobies) on the brick wall shouting strange things at it while banging at the pictures with a knife. And who could forget the phrase “She has lottery tickets!” or the girl with three voices Melora, Wild Will and Carol.
I’ll miss the time I spent with the A.E.S.M. more than I will miss Australia. I missed everyone before they even left, yet somehow it still hasn’t sunk in. I have nothing but fond memories of the A.E.S.M.
P.S. Props go to Joan for her idea about the red cordial in Song of the Superheroes, which was my favourite scene and oddly was titillating for someone else to read. Hmmm…I had Doritos for lunch.