I am somewhat entertained by the manner in which us Australians all celebrate our national day.
It seems to bring out the inner Bogan in all of us – me included. My 15 year old ‘the King’ and his mates celebrated the day in that most Australian of ways – a backyard cricket game, with a twist.
Their rules have the bowler at one end of the pool and the batsman at the other. In the time honoured tradition of BYC, it is tipsy-run or swim in this case. The fielder must hit the swimming batsman with the ball (preferably as hard as he can) to run him, err, ‘swim him’ out. Naturally this must be accompanied by much yelling and some truly theatrical catches into the pool. Meanwhile the next door neighbour was pounding ‘Barnesy’ out loud on continuous loop. To enter into the Bogan spirit I hung up two large Australian flags from the shed and blew up the inflatable palm tree. Sadly the tree was fielding at silly mid-on next to the pool and passed away during the game.
One of our local bayside hotels entered into the spirit with a competition for the best dressed Bogan. Having seen the regular cliental I wondered what the criteria was, imagining the winner to be sporting a neatly trimmed mullet and wearing an immaculately cut Armani suit over a black Jack Daniel’s t-shirt. But I suspect that the winner was just who dressed like the biggest Bogan in which case the regular patrons would have had to make very little effort at all. I wonder if the winner even knew there was a competition on.
Clearly all the major parties in the coming election believe that we are all Bogans and treat us accordingly. The quality of debate during this campaign is surely the poorest since federation with all contestants doing little else than smearing the opposition and scaremongering. If you believe the Right the labour party is now just a cover organisation for a bikie gang and if the left is to be believed as soon as the election is over old snake eyes Newman will have the port of Gladstone, every road in the state and the Queensland branch of the girl guides for sale on EBay. They are all as bad as each other. What really infuriates me is them sending some flunky to stand in the blazing sun at an intersection next to a poster of the candidate, waving to each car. Just how stupid do they think we are? Yes I am deeply concerned about the economy, youth unemployment and crime, but hey since you waved at me I will vote for you? I have to suppress an overwhelming and childish urge to give them the finger. I don’t always succeed.
I have always taken an avid interest in politics particularly those posters of the candidate. When I was the ‘Kings’ age no boys bedroom was complete without a full set of posters from each party – complete with glasses, moustache, beard and horns drawn on in pen. Back then these posters were worth stealing – backed as they were by good solid sheets of Masonite. Perfect for sand boarding and for back boards for dart boards. These days they are just corf lute which is lightweight, hollow, disposable and of little substance. Not unlike the candidates whose faces adorn them.
With the school year resuming I am looking forward to some peace and quiet in the ‘burbs, with the end of yet another great Aussie tradition. You see our other neighbours (not the Barnesy fan boy) have two delightful young daughters who have every day for the last 7 weeks played the same game from dawn to dusk.
You will know this game. Apparently it is very Australian but I managed to avoid it in my youth.
All the players except one get in the pool and close their eyes, they then yell out the first name of a long dead Venetian explorer, to which the other players respond with the name of a sport popular amongst people whose parents left them way too much money. This gets louder and louder, finally reaching a crescendo of girls screaming. They then fuel up on red cordial and start again. Gosh I am going to miss that.
So we get to celebrate our Australianness again next weekend as we line up at the local school sausage sizzle, before exercising our democratic right. What a wonderful country we live in. We can all disagree fervently with each other’s political beliefs, but no one gets shot, there are no riots or burning of effigies and we all chip in to help out the local P&C.
So now with the school holidays, Australia day and the election nearly behind us it is time to concentrate on the important things in life. Sailing. We have plenty of places on both weekend and 5 day course as well as a one day radio course and exam on 13 February, Day Skipper intensive theory from 23 – 27 February and Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster intensive theory from 9 – 13 March.
That’s all for now, if you need to contact us please feel free to call, Facebook or email. But please don’t try calling out ‘Marco….’
Cheers Mike Job.