Oh deary me! How things cannot change when you are a ‘pill’ testing the limits of conservatism

It’s a Friday, drizzly grey morning in the Emerald City.   I sat in the coffee shop at the knob end of Balmain with a few desperates watching the poor miserable bastards trudge into town to be disappointed.  Some wore casual clothes. This was because a decade or so ago some bright spark thought by taking the foot off the throat of workers at the end of the week was going to be great for morale.  Yet another corporate miracle baked in the camp oven of a fly doctor that was bound to end in tears.  Possibly because some plumpish males saw it as the signal to dress in tight blue pants and wear brown shoes.  Does anyone know the number of the taste police?

Anyhow I stretched one into two coffees to avoid the inevitable.  But finally headed home to count my franked dividends, scratch my nuts and look at the fields for tonight.  Nothing much to crow about in that trifecta.  However scanning the corporate announcements I found an interesting one from InvoCare (IVC.ASX).   InvoCare is fundamentally in the business of burning or interning you when you cash in your chips. It was a statement from the CEO, Martin Earp that tickled my fancy.

“Operating results for (InvoCare in) 2018 were impacted by soft market conditions, namely, a lower number of deaths. History suggests that these conditions are unlikely to be sustained and that reversion to the positive long-term trend is typical.”

The ‘market’ wasn’t concerned that death was deemed a “positive long-term trend”.  Martin Earp’s statement tickled the ‘market’s’ fancy too as the shares jumped up 7%.  Now I’m not sure whether Martin is related to the gunslinger, Wyatt Earp however I fee that Marty must be.  Like Wyatt, Marty looks death in the eye every day.  Marty knows it’s only a matter of time before a bus, stupidity or the big ‘C’ will gun us down.   Marty goes on to say that “InvoCare will be well-positioned to meet changing customer needs and grow market share.”  Those changing needs will most likely be when the plump, blue panted, brown- shoed bozos need a box to jump into surrounded by regrets including ill-chosen fashion choices.  Marty knows change is inevitable too.

Speaking of death, regrets and change, something weird just happened.  I had some random music playing via Spotify.  Mostly shit but then I was knocked over by a tune.  Vaguely familiar.  It finally came to me. It was “After the Goldrush” originally sung by Neil Young from the album of the same name.  I got up from my desk.  It takes a lot these days.  Generally a call of nature or a wine delivery will do it.  But this time it was this tune.  Not Neil Young but..well I never…it was the King’s Singers.

Now the King’s Singers were/are a British a cappella vocal ensemble founded in 1968. They are named after King’s College in Cambridge, England, where the group was formed by six choral scholars. In the United Kingdom, their popularity peaked in the 1970s and early 1980s.   They were square and squeaky.  Suits, bow-ties and clean.  Jesus were they clean.  I quote from their website;

“The superlative vocal sextet.” The Times (London). Acclaimed for their life-affirming virtuosity and irresistible charm, The King’s Singers are in global demand.”

You’d have to wonder who on the globe would be wanting to dance with these devos? But apparently tomorrow evening they are playing in Bernardsville, New Jersey.  They are up against pretty strong calendar of local events.  For one – the WML 2019 Craft Beer Fest and for two, Jackie Evancho at the Mayo Performing Arts Centre.  Now I know a bit about little Jackie – apparently she matches her extraordinary voice with one of the most exciting reemerging genres in popular music today – the New American Songbook.  Now with a local population of just 7,007 I reckon it’s going to be tough for the “superlative vocal sextet” to draw the punters.  My money is on the Craft Beer Fest.

Regardless, back to their rendition of  “After the Goldrush’.  Some of you may remember, there is a line in the song that goes, “I felt like getting high”.  Woops!  What’s happened here?  After five decades of squeak and clean the King’s Boys are getting grubby?  Can you imagine the Bernardsville Burghers wanting to hear this trippy hippy trash.  No siree Bob…I reckon the lads will be lucky to save themselves from the zimmers and canes that will be hurled at them by the good and decent folk once they break into this tune.
So how did this happen?  Well things change.  Most of us have.  However the sods and the clods that cling to the moral high ground believing that control and prohibition just seem to struggle with change as a concept of improvement.  That’s probably because of their safe position in life they never had to change.
The Injection Room and now the Pill Testing debate is just another example of social conservatives who believe not changing and holding the line on prohibition is showing strength.  In fact all it shows is that they are profoundly stupid pupils of history.  Will these people reflect when further people die at festivals?  Probably not.  Ignorance is such a saver of time.   Perhaps they should look to Portugal if in fact they truly wish to be informed about alternatives to systems of control that have failed forever.
If we look at Portugal, a country of just over 11 million people, we see a country that had to change.  Faced with an escalation of opioid addiction and related crime they couldn’t control they decriminalised all drugs in 2001.   Portugal has seen dramatic drops in overdoses, HIV infection and drug-related crime since that time.  I’ll quote a piece from an excellent article in the Guardian by

Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission – a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker – about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them.

Portugal’s remarkable recovery, and the fact that it has held steady through several changes in government – including conservative leaders who would have preferred to return to the US-style war on drugs – could not have happened without an enormous cultural shift, and a change in how the country viewed drugs, addiction – and itself. In many ways, the law was merely a reflection of transformations that were already happening in clinics, in pharmacies and around kitchen tables across the country. The official policy of decriminalisation made it far easier for a broad range of services (health, psychiatry, employment, housing etc) that had been struggling to pool their resources and expertise, to work together more effectively to serve their communities.

So if you are on the conservative spectrum of social politics can I give you a little bit of advice?  Regardless of whether you nodded your fat head or not here it is.
Man, squeeze out of those tight blue pants.  Take your stupid brown shoes off.  Get yourself into a kaftan or something that gives you plenty of wriggle room to move your fun furniture around.  Then roll yourself a nice big fat stokey of Mullumbimby Mellow and put the King’s Singers album, Lollipops on.  You’ll find “After the Goldrush” sandwiched between “Ding A Dong” and “Phil the Fluters Ball”….you’ll be Bernardsville in no time whatsoever my moon dog.  And baby it just doesn’t get any better.  No more thoughts about your franking credits, death or stopping the flow….Man when let go you just change for the better.
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It’s not about balls it’s about the dicks

The recent gnashing and wailing from the high priests of cricket ethics has had a great effect on me.  It’s given me an A-grade case of the roaring shits.   Every town clown and crier has joined the chorus.  Chief Tool, Malcolm Turnbull says it ‘beggars belief”….this is from a man…no too strong a word…a person who has abandoned every principle in the book to retain power.  He even chipped in $2M of his own cash to ensure that his simpering self could retain leadership of the liberal confederacy of dunces.

Sure you’re disappointed about the lack of fair play.  Disappointed by the cheating.  I’m profoundly disappointed that they got caught.  It shows a complete lack of skill.  My good mate Schotty wouldn’t have got caught.  He and I went to a fibro hen-house that passed for a school in industrial Newcastle in the 1960s.  There blokes punched holes in the wall for fun.  The bleak and black arts were core curriculum at Jesmond High back then.  We learnt how to conceal smokes, home-made knives and feelings.  It was cauldron of confusion.  One had to knuckle down, ignore the noise, expect no quarter and simply survive.  Within this sharp environment however their were civilising souls – teachers of the arts and humanities that created pockets of relief that put a soft foil to the hardness of our day.  We came out the other end, partly mad, mostly unworldly but at least we were prepared for the battle ahead.

Our current crop of cricketers have come through a different system of education and it shows.  They have been raised within a fawning, soft crib. Their only mentors are stupid, somewhat limited, old cricketers.  Cricketers without experience beyond the crease.  The measurement of their success is simply a set of numbers. Complexity is rare.  Those within the Australian team and support group that have above average intelligence are rare too.  It is no wonder then when under pressure they panic.  They have no default for difficulty.

In no way do I wish to diminish the act of cheating.  I just don’t think some of the bleating people know the full extent of the problem.  Spend a bit of time watching first grade cricket on any summer Saturday.  Anywhere in this brown, beautiful land.  You’ll find some flanneled fool fiddling with the ball.  It’s what they do. Throwing it on the rough ground, accidentally spiking it, Dencorubbing it, armpitting it….a host of techniques, too many to mention.  But when a bloke pops into Cape Town’s Bunnings and gets a bit of Number 9 Sandpaper we blow up …big.  Is it the premeditated action that stirs us so? Or do we attach other things to our national teams’ performances that goes beyond just pure sport?

In 2016 the current South Africa captain Faf du Plessis was caught sucking mints and then using his saliva to polish the ball on one side.  ‘Mints’ was later fined his match fee.  Bugger-all compared to the 12-month ban and pillorying that Smith and Co are copping.

So why such a response to something that goes on all of the time?

Waleed Aly intelligently proffers the idea that this is much more than a reaction to one offence.  That it is a reaction to how we have seen ourselves historically.  Aly says in his SMH column today:

“Perhaps the Australian cricket team’s gravest sin is to have cheated on the international stage as the team that most fully represents the nation. Australian cricket has just debauched our foreign policy, by which we construct our place in the world. And that’s why we’ve reacted so viscerally. Not because it is proportionate to the offence, but because this taps something existential in us. We’re responding instinctively as a form of rehabilitation. We’re raging because our indignation is the only way we can put back together the mythology of who we are.”

I think Aly is correct.  I also think that this is a delayed reaction to a backlog of appalling behaviour within the Australian team.  Led by David Dick Warner we have seen the brutal, unthinking, ugly side of Australian elite cricket.  The dim-witted prose of Warner and Co seemingly used to unsettle opponents is profoundly puerile.   It is a tactic used only by the stupid and the insecure.  Those who have genuine self-belief have little need to belittle their opponents in the sporting arena.  Thy are confident in what they do.  When Warner’s family values were questioned he reacted angrily.  Such is the limit of understanding and ability to self-reflect.  Additionally the fact that the current crew struggle to maintain performance averages overseas is an ample reminder that they do not have the mental toughness to survive without the soft cocoon of local comfort and adoration.

Within the Executive and Support Team of CA little appears to have been done in the last five years to correct behaviours or to provide self-belief and resilience training for our cricketeers.  A coven of convenience seems to occupy these roles.  I learnt today that there is a Head of People and Culture within Cricket Australia.  Well I’ll be bowled over, really?. Job well done champ!.  But who is this person?  Well apparently it’s David ‘The Invisible Man’ Peever.  Ex- Rio Tinto, Peever seems the perfect man for the job.   Fresh from stints of bashing unions Peever has so far stayed out of the glare.  Obviously he prefers to work under the cover of darkness. Down holes, behind the scenes, Peever has been beavering away – no doubt with a strategic cultural plan stuffed down the front of his gravy stained pin-stripes  However he was very happy to be in Cape Town sucking on the teat when the bomb went off.  This horrible little man let an unprepared Smith and Bancroft face the music.   No doubt while he sucked on a brew and fiddled in his hotel room. 

The end result in my view is.  The roaring, chest beating ‘Dick’ Warner should be consigned to Pappadam League never to return.  Peever, Sutherland and other Dicks within CA, that have been compliant through neglect must also go, now!.  They have shown little capacity to lead change for the better.

Lasting cultural change will only achieved through strong, thoughtful leadership.  You can only change this culture from the top – not from the bottom and sadly we have far too many bottoms running cricket in Australia today.

 

 

The Freedom to be a low, nasty deadshit

It’s absolutely no surprise to me that 4,873,987 (or 38.4%) Australian voted against same sex marriage.  By my reckoning that’s about the number of stupid, ignorant dead shits that we unfortunately have deal with in our daily lives.

For example. Consider yourself at someone’s wedding that you have been invited to purely out of obligation because you once went to school with someone’s parents.  You sit down at your designated table and introductions are made.  Already the bloke in the bright blue suit shits you. He tells you he has his own accountancy firm.  Weaving this fact into “this show is costing someone a pretty penny”. His over-painted and pearled partner supports him by saying “Tony knows what these things cost.” I want them both boiled down into candles.

There’s another wanker, wide and cocksure, who leans back in his seat and says “Dry argument.” Winking like a fat lighthouse he drones on about how much he had to drink last night. And these dopes are not alone. There are plenty of other dimwits at the table to make it a fair conga line of dull, unaware wind farmers. And that’s your 38%. They’re the ones that want to waddle backwards to the 1950s, wearing their bone cardigans.  They want us all to live in a safe, smug, shit hole that John Winston Howard crawled out of to piss on every progressive idea around.

And these are the same dull, stupid people who want to enshrine alleged ‘religious freedom’ into the same sex legislation. This apparently boils down to four main areas of concern.

1. The right to refuse same sex couples a religious marriage ceremony. Apparently this is because their gracious and compassionate god and the scriptures told them to treat anyone, who has the temerity to declare as batting for the same side, like a lump of dog shit.

2. Butcher, Baker/Candle Stick Maker and Florist may be forced to actually serve a same sex couple against their religious convictions. I think that was covered nicely in Leviticus 18.22. But does this mean your stock standard sugar craving married queer cannot get a cream bun anymore?

3. Their offspring may be told in school that’s it is terribly wrong to discriminate against anyone because of their sexuality.  Does the concept of ‘unchristian’ come in here? Nah – fuck them, teach the little nippers to have a deeper understanding of real difference and discrimination.

4. Churches will eventually have to allow blokes to marry pigs. (Leviticus 18:23 – sometimes known as the Corey Barnyard Principle)

Now I think all this is a slight overreaction. We know that organised religion is in trouble. The recent Census stats showed that only a handful are bothering to turn up and listen to some loner with no real world experience blather on about fuck all.  We also know that the interpreters of god’s word on this planet are being locked up at an alarming rate – so much so that most Australian churches are now full of mumbling, well-meaning characters from Mumbai and Manilla.

To me this whole religious freedom stuff is simply a marketing ploy from a failing brand so desperate to rally the ragged and depleted faithful for one more go before the bloody lions get them.   But let’s not allow the rooters for religion get a toe-hold.  When any dull, christian starts to rabbit on about religious ‘freedom’ just refer them to this site – www.childabuseroyalcommission.gov.au/ and tell them there are some cracker christian yarns in there, some even better than the water into wine one.

 

 

I’ll be buggered if I’d go to a private school

An old journalist and scoundrel, Ronnie the Wheel, once told me in Melbourne that if you were capable of rational thought you would lean to the left side of the world.  Ronnie was correct yet still some people who can tie up their own shoelaces and wipe away dribble quickly can viciously cling to notions that are so unhinged and irrational it defies belief.  Then again belief over rational thought is perhaps the issue here.

The idea that private enterprise could provide better and seamless delivery of services to the masses over a lumbering public sector has held true, for most, since the 1980s. Whether, in this country, it was an overreaction to the Whitlam policy juggernaut that swept aside the post-war torpor of conservative back to wall politics or just simply catch-up.  It’s hard to know what motivated the accelerated attempt to sharpen the pencil without proper consideration.

But being a conservative in the 70s in Australia must have been like living on a diet of devon and dog shit. No one wanted hear you or to be near you. You allowed your hair to grow slightly over the collar but you stayed indoors after dark.  You leaned towards Jesus Christ and loved John Denver.  You were generally without deep thought and you never saw “Deep Throat”.  It wasn’t your time.  You had to stay in the shadows until it was.

At this time, if you were a bloke from the middle and upper class your feckless parents sent you to places such as St John’s College in Sydney or to Robb College in Armidale for a tertiary education.  But it was only a holding pattern.  Learning wasn’t your thing. It was purely a social experiment.  There you skirted around the sidelines, played rugby, hated poofs and drank rum.  You found you were not alone.  At Sydney University Tony Abbott stalked the halls, threatening women and charging his conservative credentials. There were others here and at Bachelor and Spinsters Balls you could find equally gormless females to grope and fornicate with.  You despised and dismissed any criticisms of your conservative cocoon.  You looked after you own and bugger the rest. You carried this dislike for progressive ideas with you for the rest of your life.  It meant you didn’t have to ever think again.

Conservative times really came to NSW in the late 80s and 1990s when that low ferret, Nic ‘Otine’ Greiner* got hold of power.  This unprincipled weasel got rid of the public service graded bureaucrats.  He then crudely inserted the Senior Executive Service system in its place. It was a contract system.  You could be punted at the end of your contract.  It sounded sensible to those who found the public service inflexible and unyielding to political nuance.  They believed that a Departmental Head had to virtually expose his todger in Martin Place to get sacked. Unlike politicians who generally did it in their electoral offices and got promoted.  The end result of this virtual privatisation of the public service was to neuter it.  No longer did most departmental heads provide fearless advice.  They knew to survive they now had to firmly tether the public interest against the rampant political good. The sell-off of public utilities soon followed.

In schooling, generous federal and state subsidies saw the growth of private sector schools. In NSW public sector school numbers dropped 20% in two decades.  Conservative parents pushed their fruit of the loin into faith-based and elite private schools.  This guaranteed that their offspring would not be challenged to consider different ideas nor have to confront different people.  And by giving a smatter of scholarships to your odd pov but talented sportsperson and Indigenous kiddies private schools could assuage any semblance of christian guilt.  Parents smugly bored everyone who would listen that they paid more than their share to send their Katies and Keirans to St Bede’s of the Busted Arses.

Little did they care that the role of the local school as a core of the community and its values would decline.  Nor did they connect that the social dislocation they decried was part and parcel of the careless society that had partly created.    They didn’t want their precious mixing with the spotty herberts from public housing.  They wanted a safe, quality education that they had worked hard to provide – in fact they often mentioned the incredible sacrifice they had to make to send them “off to school”.  They wanted gymnasiums, buckets of sporting fields, drama theatres and string quartets.  They wanted to dress their kiddies up in stupid military outfits, tartan skirts and boater hats to show that they were very, very special children.  But most of all they didn’t want them to be different from the ideal conservative nonces that they had become.  A dose of safe Williamson at the Wharf and a bit of rugger was what everyone needed to become balance, conservative cunt.

Of course they got upset when they found clowns like the smug shit-head Timmy Hawkes and his kind allegedly failed their duty of care to their charges by reporting offences to the police.  Surely, they thought, $40,000 a year guranteed a kiddy-fiddler free zone?

And so now in the era of Neo-Nazis, $Trumpet and Abbott, the white breads continue to flock together to breed and prosper – it is their time and be damned if you are one of the poor bastards who think.

 

*Nic Greiner was chairman of the board of WD&HO Wills and then British American Tobacco Australia for the period 1996 to 2004.

B & B and the dark arts of the Poo

They say you get the face you deserve at fifty. Bernard Tomic didn’t have to wait that long. His angular head seems to be the hasty work of an iced-up metal worker. A head, jaggered and angled with more juts than a fiord, pokes forward in defiance when challenged. Barnyard’s prominent chin invites fists. It’s a miracle that he hasn’t been belted by anyone yet but it probably won’t be long. I’d like do some gob work on him but that wouldn’t be the end.

I’d feel obliged to have a crack at the other clown Kygrios. Sporting the chain-sawed cockatoo look, Special K has more swagger than a drunk on stilts.  Talented but without manners or intelligence these tools would be in juvie if they couldn’t hit a yellow ball over the net.  Someone should tell them and their sauntering posse of loucheads that it is a slippery slope this fame game. But as we know jerks keep their counsel close. They tend to surround themselves with backslappers and urgers only. The history of circus animals is loud and likely. Anthony Mundine was counselled by clowns and Jeff Fenech by fruiterers and blokes in high volume suits and floral shirts. So it doesn’t matter what we say or even write because these lard buckets stopped reading at the Goofy and the Dwarf stages of their stunted development.

Do you remember Mark Philopoosos? The Poo should serve as a talisman for these two revved up Cortinas. Declared bankrupt Philopoosos has in more recent times recanted his folly. His downward spiral should be a compulsory study for these and others. Tennis Australia should make it mandatory for the young hopefuls that ply their trade on the JDS circuit.

Of course our recent attention has been drawn to these clowns by their lack of forelock tugging towards the AOC. I prefer to call this mob the OACTBC – as in Old Athletes Constantly Travelling Business Class. Every four years we are served up a panoply of sugar rich Olympic ideals. Please pass the bucket. If you erstwhile high jumpers and scullers were a bit serious about standards and values you shouldn’t have allowed drug fueled cheats to reign supreme for decades while seemingly more concerned about frequent flyer points than fairness.

Kitty Chiller who is the kitchen aid at the mission (apparently this is somewhat akin to a Thermomix that spits) set her sights on Barnyard and Bumhole. The Shrill reckoned these blokes didn’t quite measure up on the Bradbury Scale. Oh Doh Ray Fuck Me! Why is it even a topic?  Of course they don’t. They are simply gold medal deadshits Shrill. Move on and start confiscating the cough drops off the swimmers if you want to protect your tarnished rings.  These lads have made it very clear that the rings hold little ground in their cocktail dreams.  Of course the only reason tennis is in the Olympics is another grab by the IOC to ensure that their television rights are fattened further.

But back to the main course – tennis. By contrast it was great to see Rocket Rod Laver presented with another silver plate during the French Open a few weeks back. It made me think that it was highly unlikely that B & B will ever get a silver plate in recognition of their tennis achievements.

These talented yet stupid lads are simply a flash in the pan. A fashion du boof. In fact I tend to think of these two a bit like those allegedly fashionable tight mens suits illogically worn with brown shoes. Not a classic look for the fattening classes who look tres tweedle dumb twee.

Like B & B it appeared like the annual Bogong moth plague but stayed far too long. Even the not so young blades started wearing this fashion unquestionably. They all simply looked stupid.

It just went to show that the classics stay with us forever while the others simply look silly, stupid and eventually very sad as they fade away.

Should we pan Bronwyn and the others in the trough?

2015 is a weird year.  It’s indeed a weird time when the Son of Goanna is getting thinner and Gina is getting large enough to claim a postcode.  A time when the runs scored by a befuddled test team approximates their collective IQ and our elected goat-herd let by the Bish golds in trough gouging.

I love contrasts and I do strangely admire excess.  The caveat being if I can admire from a distance suitably attired in wellies and a thick rubber apron. I also love a good catalogue.  And to this end I have to doff my lid to the recent Domayne Bathroom Design ‘log’ that was scattered in the driveway together with offers from tree cowboys and varnished estate agents.

The Domayne dog is sixteen pages of taps,baths, basins and dunnies.  I love dunnies – always have since Stringer Armstrong told us the story about the country throne that sent him to hospital. Stringer was a teacher at my school, Knocks (as in hard) who had lost a leg somewhere.  He had a bit of a Douggie Bader refit so whenever his leg came into contact with anything it rang like a cow bell.  He only wore one pad when he played cricket and didn’t need a bat to do a leg glance.  String told the story of himself as a young teacher going to his first one teacher school.  He was boarded by the community on a farm on the outskirts of the small country town.

The first night in the new accommodation after a large,hearty meal saw him in need of dropping a weight grade or two.  He was sent out the back to the dunny. His mother had warned him about spiders so before hopping down he lit a match and inspected the arrangements.  Satisfied he dropped the match into the pan unaware that country practice involved putting a bit of kero into the bottom of a ‘fresh’ pan. A burnt freckle meant that String was a few days late in taking up his first bush appointment.

String would have been amazed at what water closets were available to your modern day punter. Within the pages of the Domaine log your are spoiled for choice if you have plenty of Harry Nash. Despite the allure of alliteration the log’s writers resisted the urge of ‘Domayne Dunnies’ and elected for Designer Toilet Suites.  And what sweets hey are! From the moderately priced “Parisi Quasar” at $1495.  You could also bog-on with models called “Joyce” – possibly one for the Qantas Frequent Flyers or “Jazz” that was designed by the Italian pan princes Sandro Meneghello and Marco Paolelli.

But the one that caught my eye was the Tece ‘Tecelux’ Senso Touch Electronic Black Glass Panel with Cistern. Oh what a feeling! With 3.3L flush. The ‘log’ goes on to describe this wonder;

“Touch Free ability for senso buttons, ‘Night Light’ buttons illuminate upon approach, ‘Odour vac’ begins operation upon approach.”

Heaven

Heaven

I don’t know why but when I saw this I immediately thought of Bronwyn Bishop.  Maybe it was the severity of the black glass panel against the white pan?  More likely it was the shit-awful excesses of the Bishop and the other horribly entitled clowns that reminded me.  However one thing is for certain it will require much more than the ‘odour vac’ to cover up the stench of their distasteful excesses.

 

Don’t mention the garlic

A few weeks back I flew into Ballina.  Gateway to the profoundly beautiful and delusional.  On the plane were the usual faded flowers and tatted pretend-me-nots mixed in with the odd whiffy backpacker.  So far so good.  I was uptraded into a gold nondescript vehicle with a faulty rear view mirror that occasionally dropped onto the floor.  So far so good. I then popped around the corner to the Aldi store to get a few vittles to chew on in the hinterland.  Most items purchased were subsequently found to be quite good – the cheese in particular but I should have examined the entrails  a bit more closely in the produce section.  The sad wilted stuff reminded me of a fruiter in Newtown before the sharp set moved in.  I called him Kevin – “Fruiterer to the Disappointed”.  Passing by to grab a caffeine needle you’d see the saddest carrots and lettuce imaginable.  I suppose it’s good to know Kev is advising Aldi these days.  I reluctantly grabbed a knob of garlic that appeared reasonable.  Later that evening when preparing a meal I discovered that every clove was old, rotten crap.  Bloody Germans.

I was disappointed.  But moved on.  That is until I happened to be driving through one of the hinterland hamlets of Clunes.  Everything was pretty perfect until that moment. I was tuned into Paradise FM. The song playing at the time was “That’s when I think of you” by the Australian band ‘1927’.   And that’s when I found myself behind an Aldi truck.  It all began to come together.  Was this a sign?  Was the band name a clue to the year the German firm grew their garlic.  Had it been stored in some underground bunker since that time?  But it was the picture on the back of the German truck of a blond-haired blue-eyed girl filling her fat little gob with a large slice of watermelon and smiling …no mean feat…that really got me.  Yeah man it really got me going.

IMG_1592 IMG_1590

So on my return to the pointy end of Balmain I took a shiraz sedative and penned an email to Aldi with a few shots I’d taken for a bit of colour.

Dear Aldi

I understand that you are a German company allegedly synonymous with efficiency and quality.  Well chaps I can see why the Germans lost two wars given my profoundly disappointing experiencing on the 11 May 2015.  The 11th May strangely enough was my birthday – yes I am an older citizen of this country as you can obviously deduct from the fact that I referenced the war and I’m wasting what is left of my diminishing life writing to you over 82 cents worth of your awful garlic.    So to continue, I went to your Ballina store (on my birthday) and bought some garlic (see photo and receipt attached).  As you can see the garlic was reminiscent of the rotten teeth of someone who was either on ice or was dug up out of an Irish bog pit.

What do I want from you Mr Aldi?  Well not much really as I know full well pessimists never get disappointed.  But I will stake my claim quite simply.

1. I want you to stop selling sub-standard produce and I would like you to tell me how you are going to do this?

2. And I want an appropriate gift voucher (it was my birthday after all) to compensate for the fact that I couldn’t cook one of my very special signature dishes that evening (a chicken & tomato dish in case you may be vaguely interested) due to your sub-standard produce.

They’ve got four days to get back to me according to their very efficient website.  I’m biding my time.  I’ve got my army disposal camouflage pants on. I’m ready for whatever the German firm wants to throw at me and I’m particularly comforted by the fact that we’re already two zip up against them.

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