Monthly Archives: June 2013

NRL MUM about ‘Banning the Biff’

Welcome to Queensland Pouty!

Welcome to Queensland Pouty!

Recently the NRL decided to ‘Ban the Biff’, because they’re worried that mothers won’t let their boys play a game that tolerates thuggery.  Apparently it has nothing at all to do with trying to stop the Qld Origin team from giving Paul ‘Pouty’ Gallen the sort of battering a barra experiences when it’s washed over the Awoonga Dam wall.

Clearly the NRL bosses have lost touch with their fan base, because not only do many footy mums condone violence, they actively encourage it, and quite often participate.

Even in my extremely short Rugby League career, I’ve seen numerous confrontations involving enraged mothers, including one who ran onto the field to slap into a teammate who she thought was tackling her precious little brat too roughly.

It’s a bit of a tricky situation for a footballer, because going the biff on a mum who’s carrying a bub on one hip is always going to make you look like a bit of a monster.

Even on the sidelines things can quickly get out of control.  A mate of mine once politely asked some footy mums to tone down their language and ended up in the fight of his life when they attacked him.

Look, during a tight game, in the heat of the moment, when the bloods’ really pumping and Mr. Brain is having a smoko break, the fists might fly.  That’s footy.  But what Paul Gallen did to Nate Myles in Origin 1 wasn’t ‘the Biff’, it was typical, pre-meditated, ‘Pouty’ thuggery; possibly because Myles poked his tongue at him six years ago, or something just as ridiculous.

And having got away with it, ‘Pouty’ is now safe from retaliation thanks to the NRL’s strict new anti-biff rules.  Obviously Gallen’s got some serious anger issues to work through, and I suspect one of them might be popping up in the car park after tonight’s game; in the shape of Nate Myles’ mum.

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I’m sorry, but I WAS Acting!



I was about to knock on my schoolmates’ front door when I heard his father, Bob, yell, “I’m going to murder you m’dear, just like I murdered the others!  Mwahahahaa!”  Not for the first time I wished we lived in a better neighbourhood.

Now, I was thirteen years old and built like a matchstick, and he was a fully grown man built like a shaved grizzly bear, so I’d have my hands full trying to stop him.

Lunging at his wife, he saw me gawping through the screen door then cheerfully called, “Come in Greg, this won’t take long.”  I nearly wet my pants.  Fortunately they were rehearsing for an upcoming play, and they continued practicing as I sat on their couch fanning myself with a Phantom comic, and trying to get my heart rate under control.

Afterwards, Bob asked me not to reveal the secret ending, “Because if you do,” he added with a grin, “I’ll murder you too.”  He had this look in his eye…

Anyway, many years later I stepped a fair way out of my comfort zone and followed in Bob’s acting footsteps.  I often wonder if he experienced the bum clenching horror of stepping on stage in front of a packed house and forgetting all his lines?

Which is why I’ll be happily sitting in the audience next month, watching a couple of my mates strut their stuff on the marina stage in the upcoming QMF production, ‘Boomtown!’  Apparently this all singing, all dancing, technicolour extravaganza of a play is going to make Ben Hur look like a poorly organised kindergarten Christmas pageant.

And I’d love to tell you more, but I’m sworn to secrecy.  Which reminds me, if you missed a certain GLOS play back in 1979, well, I think it’s safe to tell you now; Bob the Butler did it!

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Been Better…

Spike Milligan's last message to the world...

Spike Milligan’s last message to the world…

As a young man my motto was: Live hard. Die Young. Make a Good Looking Corpse. Well, I gave it a red hot go, but fell slightly short of achieving those goals. Now I’m on the wrong side of forty five and seriously starting to doubt my chances of living forever.

This is because recently I had an ‘episode’. The pain would have killed a lesser man, but sadly I wasn’t that lucky. When I told Long Suffering Wife what had happened, she immediately made an appointment for me to see her doctor. Then, after a bit of thought, she phoned the Merry Widow Insurance Agency and upped my payout amount.
My usual medico, Doctor Google, drew a blank, so the next day I toddled off to see Long Suffering Wife’s GP, who tested my blood so many times that my arms felt like a bullet riddled highway sign.

Afterwards, I saw a specialist who decided to give me, and my health insurance, a solid going over with a few ‘procedures’. I wasn’t thrilled to discover that one of those procedures involved inserting a cannon barrel into the place I often get told to pull my head out of.

Then, while waiting for my turn on the machine that goes ‘Bing!’, I was alarmed to find that the old lady slumped against me wasn’t so much at Deaths’ Door, but in Deaths’ Lounge-Room admiring his carpets. So when they called my name, I pointed to her unconscious form and cried, “Please! Take her first!” Which, for some reason, everyone thought was quite funny?

Anyway, long story short, I’ll live to a ripe old age; if I don’t die first. But if I’d known I was going to live this long, I’d have definitely taken much better care of myself as a young bloke.

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Backyard of Origin

95 Origin Series It’s Origin time! The beer’s chilled, the phone disconnected, and my sacred 1995 Origin jersey, well, apparently one of my daughters ‘borrowed’ it to wear at Sydney Stadium tonight. Hopefully it will be returned in one piece, minus any blood stains or bullet holes.

And before the game, I like to reminisce about the two greatest footballers I ever saw play in the boyhood arena of Backyard Footy.

The first was Vito, the son of Italian immigrants, who we nicknamed ‘Vito Brits’ after our brekkie cereal. At the age of fourteen, Brits stood six feet tall, sported a full beard and was a bit psychopathic about winning. Survivors still recall the day Brits turned a friendly game of dominos into a full contact sport.

Then there was a lad from Burma who was so small he looked like a kindy kid who had strayed into our footy game. His name was too hard to pronounce so we nicknamed him Polly; and he eventually started answering to it.

Now, Polly only ever got tackled once; unfortunately by Brits. As soon as he got out of hospital, we wheeled him straight out to the backyard, plunked a ball under his arm, then undid the lock on Brits’ cage.

Screaming for mercy, Polly raced around the yard sixteen times, pursued by a howling Brits, until eventually Brits gave up and wandered off to head-butt a fence post.

It didn’t take long for Brits, and the worlds’ fastest Burman, to turn our little team into the terror of neighbourhood footy games. And the two of them became as dinky-di as Vegemite™ used to be before the Yanks bought the company.

Eventually Polly moved away to a slightly less violent place (the Middle East), and Brits is sadly no longer with us. But tonight, in a lounge-room in Gladstone, they are fondly remembered by their old backyard teammate who still misses them; and his ’95 Origin jersey.

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Maintaining the Status Quo

How Status Quo are remembered in a very small part of South Gladstone...

How Status Quo are remembered in a very small part of South Gladstone…

“Hey!  Isn’t that your favourite band Dad?” asked my daughter.  I glanced up at the tele, and saw the lads from Status Quo, arthritically hammering away at their big, red hand novelty guitars in a Coles’ ad, and tears filled my eyes.

Right then I understood why my mother was so outraged when she first heard her favourite song being used as a commercial jingle back in the mid-seventies.  In that ad, a bloke in spotless overalls, yodelled, “I did it My-yy-yy Waa-aay!” as he cheerfully slapped paint all over his house in a manner that suggested he had possibly inhaled far too many paint fumes.

At the time I recall smugly thinking, ‘Well, Status Quo, would never, ever, sell out their music for mere money.’  But it appears the Quo have decided that in today’s harsh economic climate, high falootin’ ideals won’t buy a lavish retirement, so they’ve dropped their lofty principles faster than a school bag on a Friday afternoon.

Johnny Rotten once asked, “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”  Well, yes.  Yes I do!  For years this column has been a commercial free zone.  Partly because of my high ethical artistic standards, or possibly because no business in Gladstone appears keen to part with cash; no matter how many times I’ve begged, threatened, or blackmailed them.

But after enduring months of watching the withered zombies of Status Quo gleefully ‘Shopping All Over the World’, I’ve been rethinking my whole stance on the selling out for corporate coin issue.  So as of today, I’m lowering my dignity by 99.9% and considering all offers from any company, entrepreneur, mobster, political party, tycoon or loan shark that wants to exploit my extremely limited range of scribbling talent.

And no, I am NOT selling out!  I’m simply maintaining the Status Quo.

Oh God, NO!!!

Oh God, NO!!!

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