Don’t Mention the garlic …continues

The extremely efficient German company ALDI got back to me.  It was your standard customer complaint response.

Dear Marina

Thank you for your response over my disappointment with ALDI’s Garlic # 77203.

I note that there was no attached Aldi compensatory voucher to cover my said disappointment.  This disappointment is, I can fairly claim, to be on the profound level of disappointment.

I also note that you say “your experience with ALDI’s product has been documented and forwarded to the appropriate departments.” 

I am unsure what this actually means. You will remember from my first piece of correspondence I wanted to actually know how ALDI was going to ensure that no further profoundly disappointing produce would appear on their shelves again (read here sad brocollini and rotting garlic).  I assume that the appropriate departments are Quality Control and Customer Assurance, however I will be awaiting their fulsome response with great interest.

Marina, your suggestion of taking the receipt together with the rotting garlic back to the store of purchase is indeed an excellent one. Given that the place of purchase was Ballina and I actually reside in Balmain (Sydney) this could cause a minor problem – logistically that is.  I believe that is actually a distance of around 740.2 kilometres between the two.

Look Marina – I want to work on this logistically challenging issue with you.  I could fly up to Ballina as I note that Virgin Airlines are doing some great deals at the moment – can you believe $89 would get me up there tomorrow and the same amount for the return journey?

Now obviously there would be transfers to and from both airports but I’ll leave that up to you clever and efficient people at ALDI to work out whether it is worth you covering my travel costs to return to the scene of my profound disappointment. 

So I suppose where we are at now is I will wait a reasonable time to get my fulsome response (and hopefully an ALDI voucher).

Regards

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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.

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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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The Yobbies – a winning national disgrace

What a horrible bunch of brattish self-centred turd-like creatures the Yobbies are.

Of whom do I speak?  Guess – it’s your team if you want them.  It’s not mine.

I have not followed the Australian cricket team with any enthusiasm since Poodle was shirted by the Kat and stormed out of the SCG dressing room into the arms of the Bungler.  I declare that I backed the Kiwis with my hard-earned all the way in this World Cup as I was charmed by their attitude to the game and general behaviour.

However reading Greg Baum’s incitefull incision into the national team’s heart this morning has only reinforced my deepening dislike for this disgraceful bunch of VB swigging swine. Baum wrote:

“In a corner of the glowing image of Australia’s World Cup triumph is a blot that no amount of rubbing ever will remove. It is the disposition of the Australians at the dismissals of three New Zealanders during a largely one-sided final. Brad Haddin mocked Martin Guptill by clapping his gloves in Guptill’s face after he was bowled by Glenn Maxwell, while Grant Elliott and Daniel Vettori were sent on their respective ways with volleys of words.”

The nastiness of Brad ‘Magnon’ Haddin’s ‘gloving’ of Guptill deserves special mention. This act of childish spite should have brought a ringing condemnation from the press if we had people in the profession who could for once not take the jingo line every time they ‘write’ with their patriot flecked pens.  Baum is the exception to this trend.  Even the normally balanced Andrew Webster displayed his past Daily Dread credentials in the SMH today with an extremely piss poor load of bloated bilge.

Magnon’s reported Monday morning shallow rant on Triple Mediocrity post piss-up with his descriptors of team drunkenness shows what a knob-brow this gum sucking glover has become. Magnon believed that anything that was done out there “wasn’t below the belt.” He went on to say that the “Kiwis were so nice they deserved sledging”.

The Yobbies simply do not understand the fundamentals of good, fair behaviour within the context of competitive sport.  The continued snide, sickening sledging that is explained away as “part and parcel of the game” is not that. It is simply an unimaginative expression of weakness not strength.  The quiet, statesman like McCullum and the considerate actions of his team are everything the Yobbies cannot imagine.  Kiwi Grant Elliot’s consolation of Steyn at the end of the semi-final and the shaking of Poodle’s hand by four Kiwis after his dismissal in his last one-day innings shows the mettle of this fine team.

What do I hope for the future.  Very little is possible.  You cannot educate mugs particularly when they believe they have the keys to the hate locker. You cannot change an ingrained culture of a winning team when administrators and the majority of the press tug their forelock to this graceless bunch.  And so we are left with a bitter taste and an apt description of this mob crafted over a hundred years ago. In his ‘Man from Ironbark’, Banjo Patterson described perfectly your national team,

“Their eyes were dull, their heads were flat, they had no brains at all…”

 

Your pissing in the wind if you want all sportspeople to be role models

You may have heard that little known Darwin horse trainer Chris Pollard has been suspended for 12 months after indecently exposing himself and urinating on the stewards’ room window at Fannie Bay racecourse.

“On the evening of  Friday 6 March, 2015 at the Darwin Turf Club when intoxicated and positioned outside the full-length panel windows of the Stewards’ Room and in full view of at least two female staff members, he did indecently expose himself and urinate on the window whilst an official Stewards inquiry was in progress.”

Pollard is currently appealing a nine month suspension having returned a positive urine sample to the prohibited substances cannabis and ice. It is unknown if Pollard was merely offering stewards a B-sample so that it may be subjected to further testing.

Pollard does have form allegedly when it comes to the use of drugs but not necessarily on himself. One of the horses he had trained, Ziggler, tested positive for cannabis and methamphetamine after a sample was taken at trackwork at Fannie Bay on January 23.

Now I’m not saying what Pollard has done should be encouraged.  However I defy most people not to find his actions extremely funny.  It’s a bit like a fart in church.  But would I want Mr Pollard to be a model for young people entering the equine industry?  Certainly not.

This unrealistic expectation of sporting administrators who continue to demand that the gaggle of often morally and mentally challenged boofheads under their loose control should be used as community role models continues to astound.  The shock and horror on the faces of administrators as they fumble at yet another press conference to explain why some crudite decided to feign intercourse with a dancing bear on You tube while dressed in team colours is all to common.

Lets look at the cattle in question.  In all codes of football for every considered gentleman you have overinflated borderline criminals who flounce around the public domain primitively beating their roided pecs.  These are generally the characters who think Stephen Hawkins has a sister Jennifer who is way more better and that bubbling should be an Olympic sport.

So why in the world would we expect them to act like village vicars?  Well I believe it stems from the irrational yet strangely held belief that these are our champions – they battle for us.  They generally do things we couldn’t and wouldn’t.  Supporters of teams within sporting world develop an affection for a team for a range of reasons that could be purely geographical or for some random emotional imprinting in childhood years.   It’s often irrational but once it starts it takes as much effort as removing a butt tattoo to lance the attachment to your team.  When a disgraced star that we had previously loathed moves into our coloured tent then we immediately forgive them.  Possibly it’s because they have now become ‘our’ boofhead.

It came as little surprise to myself last month when certain players were exposed as being users of snorting snow.  The use of cocaine across society is incredibly widespread.  Around 8% of Australians over the age of 14 have used it.  Everyone from pin-striped CBD harlots to your country-roaded tradies riding inner-city boom waves are fuelled up on the blizzard blow these days. Apparently cocaine is now the preferred poison for many a young sporting buck as it doesn’t pack on the pounds like a raft of Reschs does.

So what to do some ask? To me the solution is simple.  You sign a contract that has clearly defined expectations.  You cross the line.  Gone.  Next please.  No you cannot go to France, England or Japan.  The adage of boys will be boys or spirited hi-jinx as the explanation should hold no sway.  That was your job description and now you have new choices in your life – go to TAFE, a building site or directly to gaol.  It’s that simple.

Crimes and punishments – postcodes and privilege

Some months have passed since a couple of incidents in the northern NSW coastal town of Byron Bay have come and gone washed from the collective media memory by tinsel, trivia and tragedy.  The incidents unsurprisingly involved players from two football codes that are ‘poles’ apart as were the punishments. How they were handled serves as a reminder of how privilege and social class still influence perception in this country. The way both the media and the organisations responded shows quite clearly that we meter out our doses of media outrage based on expectation while still tugging our forelock to the lofties.

Greg Bird on his wedding day in early December must have felt like, to quote the squeaky vocal popsmith Brett Dennen, “Like a pirate in a pawn shop with a pocketful of jewels.”  Bird’s alleged crime was to squirt between two cars and to be spotted.

Bird has been a ‘grub’ by most definitions.  Students and teachers from his alma mater Rutherford High situated at the crumb-end of Maitland in the Hunter testify to his ‘charms’.  So at approximately 7.30pm on a balmy December evening, in the car park outside the Byron Bay Beach Hotel, after saying “I do” he then “Did do”. Poor judgement we would all accord.  However the crime of attempting to urgently relieve yourself discreetly in a public place could be levelled against most if not all of us.  Having had a surfeit of golden throat charmers who hasn’t desperately tried to find a safe spray haven away from the crowds?

“It’s put a dampener on our wedding weekend. I’m incredibly embarrassed and disappointed at myself,” Bird told reporters.  Well that’s generally what liquids do Birdie old son – they dampen.  As yet it is unproven that he actually bubbled onto a marked police vehicle but he was issued with an infringement notice on the following Monday.

The Clever Chronicle recorded another incident in the same street and the same town just a few weeks later that involved the Wallabies captain, Michael ‘Right Way’ Hooper.

The Australian Rugby Union says it has no plans to take disciplinary action against Wallabies captain Michael Hooper after he was involved in an incident that drew police attention in Byron Bay.  The 23-year-old was out early on Monday morning when one of his friends allegedly jumped on a parked car.  Police said the two men were then seen pushing over a road sign, which was later repositioned without damage. 

The ARU said the star breakaway, who is holidaying in Byron Bay, was “not involved in any serious misdemeanour”. “Michael has been open and transparent with the police and Australian Rugby Union,” a spokesman said. “We don’t expect any further action to be taken in relation to Michael’s involvement in the matter.”

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The only way is to the ‘right’ – Hooper’s handy w

Look I know most of us after a few bundies try and influence traffic flow by pushing over the odd set of traffic lights or stop signs.  So in no way am I trying to determine what incident is higher on the Richter Scale of Rudeness – it’s too late as the media, the police and associated organisations have decided for us.  Birdie is a grub and ‘Right Way’ is a chap having a lark with chums after a few ales.  After all ‘Right Way’ was schooled in values at St Piles X on the north shore of Sydney – he knows good from evil, right from wrong.

Regardless of whether a sign was repositioned the criminal act of vandalism as opposed to relieving oneself between cars seems to me quite similar in terms of stupidity.  However the punishments that were determined by each of the codes and clubs were clearly a million miles apart.  Bird was fined by his Titans Club $15,000 and stripped of the co-captaincy while Hooper remained a transparent likely lad escaping any punishment.

Today the media reports on Willie Sillie Mason’s alleged anti-social behaviour, apparently wrestling with his equally dopey brother in public in NZ at the Nautious Nines Tournament.

One fan said Mason was happily signing autographs and posing for photos throughout the event and one scuffle with his brother wasn’t showing the whole picture. Another said Mason was polite and though he may have been helped out of the venue by police, the only reason was that he was getting hounded by excited fans. Mason told the Daily Telegraph that it was after conducting a promotional engagement at the tournament that he engaged in the scuffle with his brother.  “I did have a wrestle with my brother Les when I was leaving Eden Park, but that was just a brotherly wrestle and there was nothing in it,” Mason said.

The Byron incidents make me wonder how Mason’s bro-wrestle will be treated.  Will it be seen as an “open and transparent” incident of good humoured hi-jinx from two spirited boofheads or will the more likely moral tumbrel rumble for heads to roll and the feckless fool to be summarily punished?  Hopefully so for then we can all sleep soundly knowing that the crime fits the punishment.

Getting on the wrong side of the Maules is definitely right

In these slippery times when a galaxy of inked fools parade like very special tools in social media, texting and bubbling their unmerry way into notoriety there are occasional great acts from elite players that restore one’s faith in what is possible.

David Pocock, openside flanker with the Brumbies and Wallies was caught exercising near, well actually on, a monster truck at the Maules Creek mine on the weekend.

Now every bum-heavy couch dweller knows that the Wallies run out of gumption and go in the last quarter of every match they have played this century. Whether it’s too many soft pillows and chardonnay showers I don’t know.  But here is young ‘Poco’, a player who is working long and hard to build his level of fitness to a higher level.  By climbing up onto a monster truck and lifting heavy chains to secure himself to same monster, ‘Poco’ has demonstrated that he is a man willing to go the extra yard.  But what happens? He gets a burn notice from the pin-striped pinocchios.

As the Clever Chronicle reported “My parents were always clear with my brothers and I when we were growing up that you have to have the courage of your convictions and that when you commit to something you must fully commit. That’s why, this weekend I travelled to the Leard Blockade,” Pocock said.

He wanted to raise awareness about the plight of the community of farmers and local Gamilaroi people in the Leard Forest region, whose land and sacred sites he said the Maules Creek mine threatened to destroy. 

The 26-year-old was one of nine people arrested at the protest and charged with offences including entering enclosed land without a lawful excuse.

The ARU Toady Unit issued the following press release shortly after.  They were obviously running out of ink or ideas at the time.

“The Australian Rugby Union has issued a formal written warning to David Pocock following his arrest yesterday. While we appreciate David has personal views on a range of matters, we’ve made it clear that we expect his priority to be ensuring he can fulfil his role as a high-performance athlete. The matter is now subject to legal proceedings and we will now let the legal process take its course.”

What a cart load of sanctimonious tosh!  At a time when a player texts a lewd, humiliating photo to a female employee of the ARU and then gets to play weeks later we get this piece of moral turpitude.  Look we all understand about breaking the ‘law’ so don’t use that flimsy given.  Here we are talking about enriching and newly defining the character of a sport that allows participants to express their personal view of the world without prejudice or fear.  In the end Australian Rugby, by trotting out meek lines of not bringing the game into disrepute, player responsibility to the code and other toad-like simpers is simply reversing the game into irrelevance for most thinking and passionate people.

And why should we be proud of this bloke?  Well quite simply he has shown great  courage in risking his playing future and possibly ‘devaluing’ his long term corporate ‘worth’ to do what he considers is right.  In a world that recognised players moral worth rather than their ability to simply conform to convenient and controlling codes of player behaviour then ‘Poco’ would be lauded rather than warned.

To the ARU, once gain you have shown a lack of courage, insight and imagination.

To David Pocock, well done fella, you have all of the above in spades.