Blunt Instrument - by John Birmingham

How I became a slave to the points

Those sweet, sweet points.

Last week I bought 50 kilos of dried dog food instead of real groceries because the frequent flyer points on the dog food were, like, three times better than on human food.

What I learnt when I left my AirPods behind

Losing your AirPods can be an existentially harrowing experience.

I left my AirPods behind. Two days of book signings in Melbourne and nothing but my own thoughts as I walked from one store to the next. It was Hell, until it wasn't.

'Ye gods, mad hound. Slow down'

The bounding dowager Sophie.

She is an old dog, this labrador of mine, cloudy of eye and infirm of gait but her glorious explosion of ill-advised energy was magnificent.

Unless it's a Nobel cause, I'm over ignoble calls

Cold-calling is the bane of this columnist's life.

Old-fashioned phone calls have been so weaponised — not just by scammers but also by slightly less dodgy operators cold-calling for charities, businesses and survey companies — that it feels like answering any unknown number is an invitation to a shakedown.