Rachel Berger - Australian Comedian 

"She is one of the sharpest comedians of either gender or hemisphere." - The List, Scotland


Have you heard about Vaginal Mints? An "internal feminine flavouring" that promises to keep your vagina in mint condition. Seriously, Tic Tacs for your lady parts? How much more can we not taste, smell, or feel like humans? In the 1960’s people took acid to make the world weird. Now the world is weird and people take Zoloft to make it normal. We get so much self-improvement glop shoved down our throats it makes me want to spit up into my morning coffee. I know I’m not perfect; I’m gnarled and spiky – and human. My life is like a lapel flecked with stains of unknown origin, it’s sticky, and I like that. We’re constantly encouraged to become more whole, I know I’m not whole, I’m partial, I’m in arrears. I’m best in monthly instalments; it takes the pressure off full time commitment from those that still love me.

Over the last twenty years I read, participated in and swallowed so much self-improvement it was oozing out of my ears. If some-one had suggested I’d find the solutions to my problems by sitting alone on a mountain top, not eating for a week and shoving a water melon up my arse, I would’ve dropped everything and done it. I swear. If any macramé-faced dweeb had said to me, “You’re a stupid, wretched, talentless, thoughtless, idiot.” I would’ve agreed and thanked them for sharing. I got in touch with my past lives, my inner selves, my archetypes, my demons, my spirit angels and my Native American Spirit guide. I had enough inner selves to cast an entire serious of Survivor – in situations you’d never see on TV. I had flashbacks, I rebirthed, I reclaimed, honoured, embraced and revisited so many past lives I’ve got the frequent flyer points to prove it. I read all the books, Care Of The Soul, Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus, Why Can’t You Open Up? And Why Do I Think I’m Nothing Without A Man? I didn’t till I read the book. I did co-dependency workshops only to find out that I’m too selfish to be co-dependent. I dabbled in Bodywork, Rolfing and Primal Therapy; I even spun my own woolly neurosis. And I wasn’t alone in this adventure, many of you and you know who you are, put candles in your romance corner and metal chimes on your veranda (to avoid bad luck in your career), while still clinging to the belief that deodorant is what separates us from the animals.

A dream workshop coach (yes, I’m serious) once told me to write down the details of my dreams and how I felt the moment I woke up. Dear dream diary, in my dream I’m having an anxiety attack. I woke up feeling anxious. We unleashed our rage in anger-groups and spoke crisply to each other about self-loathing while we (men and women) continued to wrestle with issues around body-hair removal. The question is then, why are we currently distracting ourselves with a new obsession–being busy. We’re so busy we’re too exhausted to enjoy others, our imperfections and ourselves. Too frantic to take time to stop and smell the diminishing respect and compassion in the air.

My friend shoots off an e-mail to suggest we speak on the phone to make an arrangement to get together. But when I call to speak to her I’m instructed to leave a message because she’s too busy to answer. She responds later via text message, “ 2 busy. Gym with PT. Talk later.” I had a meeting with all of my selves, we meditated on the concept of loneliness then I ate a large pizza-with-the- lot. Later, I lie in bed, inhaling, exhaling, and trying to calm myself, “Breathe in the good thoughts and out with the garlic”, I repeat in mantra-like cadence. The possums screech by my window, they don't make eye contact but at least they laugh at my jokes. I insert earplugs to exclude the hum of yodelling politicians, the click-clack of car alarm activators, the sound of the beep before you leave your message and the bum-aching prankster tunes of mobile phones. And you? How do you feel?