Monthly Archives: July 2014

Lucky Collision

"I'm alright so far!"

“I’m alright so far!”

I’ve had an awful lot of luck in my life, and occasionally some of it has been good.

I’m not real big on miracles though, but last weekend I witnessed several in as many minutes and have been rethinking my stance on them.

Miracle #1:  I got both green lights on Philip Street!  Honestly!

Miracle #2:  Slipped straight through the Kin Kora roundabout!

A small voice in my head muttered, “Oh, you’ll pay for this.”  But frankly I didn’t care.  The sun was shining, a good song was playing on the radio, and we… BAM!

Mr. Motocross roared into the six inch gap between us and the car travelling alongside.

Miracle #3:  He made it!  Although I’m not sure how?

“Dad he’s on the wrong side of the road!” yelled The Littlest Princess.  As cars scattered, Long Suffering Wife mumbled, “Stupid thickhead!”, or something like that.

Miracle #4:  He missed every vehicle!  Again, no idea how?

A sharp left turn was followed by an impressive wheel-stand, then a dash for the suburbs.  He’d have made it too if the gutter, two large garden rocks and a fence hadn’t stopped him.

Miracle #5:  He wasn’t killed.  But he looked pretty crook, in a foot pointing backwards kind of way.

As the Police, Paramedics and groups of slack-jawed onlookers arrived, I speculated about the numerous unfortunate decisions and actions that had led to all of us being involved in this prang.

Fate?  Destiny?  Chance?  Look, I don’t really know, but it was a miracle things hadn’t been much, much worse.  Plus I’d stopped thinking about how queasy my stomach was feeling.

And there was hope for the future too.  Well, having cracked one run of green lights along Philip Street, perhaps I’d get another someday?

Or would that be pushing my luck?

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Income Taxing Times

Funny Tax(idermy) photo... and oddly enough, fairly close to how I look around tax time :)

Funny Tax(idermy) photo… and oddly enough, fairly close to how I look around tax time 🙂

It’s that time of year, when no matter how honest you are the temptation to cheat is almost irresistible.  That’s right, it’s Tax time!

Soon I’ll drag out our financial documents shoe box, blow the dust off the calculator, open a beer, think about my options and recall some advice given to me by an old mate who was a serious student of the Kerry Packer Method of Tax Minimisation, aka: avoidance.

He collected houses like a Monopoly™ champ, had his fingers in more pies than a clumsy baker, yet was wild at the Govt. for diddling him out of any miniscule benefits that pensioners and folk on the dole were getting; even the ones paying a fortune to live in his slums.

At the time I was earning the minimum wage, and showed him my tax return which would hopefully cover our car rego.  He laughed, then pointed to the new car and boat Paul Keating had just paid for.

He told me I was a sheep being sheared to the skin, and that I should begrudge every dollar the Government takes; especially any monies used to fund investigations into tax fraud.

I think I was paying more tax than him, Paul Keating and Kerry Packer combined.

Anyway, after I’ve finished reminiscing, we usually choof off to see our accountant.  She has special qualifications (chiefly, boundless patience), knows precisely what we’re entitled to, and exactly what will happen if I try claiming dubious expenses (like a certain Prime Minister who gets paid to ‘volunteer’).

Basically, this is the time of year when my financial integrity is sorely tested, but, for some strange reason, I’m still clinging to the belief that my taxes are being used to build a better society for all Australians.

Honestly, what is wrong with me?!

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Rolf Not ROFL

Rolf is no longer Walking About

Rolf is no longer Walking About

Give Away:  one well-read hardcover book, ‘Rolf’s Walkabout’ (1973).  Unwanted boyhood gift.  Will cheerfully deliver free to anyone with an industrial shredder or flame thrower.

The one thing worse than the death of a long adored hero is when they fall from grace; or in Rolf Harris’s case, plummets.

And since Jake the Peg wobbled off to ‘live with the Queen’ I’ve been going through my few remaining childhood heroes and wondering what their dark sides are in order to prepare myself for any future shocks.

Did the Cisco Kid beat up Pancho every night?

Was the Lone Ranger a drug mule?  This would explain why he wore a mask, and how he could work for free but still afford all those expensive silver bullets.

Perhaps the Phantom isn’t real?!  At this point my head nearly caved in, because there’s only so much sinister speculation a man can take.

Hero disappointment hits kids early, usually when they discover that their father isn’t the smartest, strongest, fastest, funniest, richest or most patient person in their street, let alone their town, and that their mother doesn’t make the worlds’ best stew (actually, my mother does, and if you happen to be cooking some this week Mum, call me).

This is when kids look to celebrities to fill the yawning hero-less hole in their lives.  Unfortunately those heroes are just like you, me and everybody else; basically, defective.

Over the years a depressing number of my heroes have been disgraced, and each time a little part of me has died; in particular, the bit that had wanted to fill their shoes.

Still, in the unlikely event I become something of a role model, I certainly won’t disappoint my followers; they’ll be counting on me to stuff up in a spectacular fashion, without even trying!

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Saturday Sobserver Satire – New Newspaper Roll Out!

The New Improved Sobserver!

The New Improved Sobserver!  Softer!  Less Smearing

Next week the Sadstone Sobserver will be re-relaunched in a new, improved, roll format.

Editor in Briefs, Al Summer, made the bold decision after being told that locals didn’t think his paper was good enough to wipe their bottoms. “Well, it is now!” he declared from his bunker deep in the bowels of the Sobserver office block.

“Even though we’re plumbing new depths by going from a broadsheet to a two-ply sheet, we’ll still be covering the same crap,” added Mr. Summer, “but with a slightly softer touch, and much less smearing.”

Sadstone Sobserver Rolls can be purchased singly, or in packs of ten.

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Climate ‘Whatever’

"You're hot and you're cold, you're 'Yes' then you're 'No'..."

“You’re hot and you’re cold, you’re ‘Yes’ then you’re ‘No’…”

Global Cooling. Global Warming. Climate Change. Whatever it is we’re calling it these days, here is the unfortunate truth: most of you have stopped reading by now.

What was hard to ignore though was when Clive Palmer and Al Gore waltzed into the spotlight on the Australian political stage, and performed a strange little song and dance which was followed by polite, but slightly confused, applause.

On one side you have a man who has made a hefty fortune from coal mining, who now proclaims himself as the saviour of the human race and planet Earth, and standing next to him was Clive Palmer.

Seriously, things are stranger than the run of mild Spring weather we’d been experiencing up until this week.

Not that I’m unhappy about having warmer winters, I’ve never eaten mulberries in July before and our mango tree has started flowering earlier than usual. Either something is seriously wrong with our climate, or my fruit trees have faulty calendars?

As someone who wasn’t exactly a star pupil in school science, I cannot claim with any confidence if this is just a natural weather phase or Climate ‘Whatever It Is Where Calling It Now’.

And like most others, I can’t be bothered to read the reams of research to find out. Besides, who can you trust in these matters? Clive? Al? Tony? Experts? The old hippy at the beach?

Personally I’m leaning toward the side of the folk who are concerned about the world we may be leaving our great grandchildren, and paying less attention to those who think our great grandchildren should clean up any mess we make.

Perhaps if we all did a little it might make a big difference, so the only hot air we’ll have to worry about is the stuff billowing out of Canberra.

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Saturday Sobserver Satire: People Powerhouse!

State Parliament House is now being powered by juvenile delinquents.

State Parliament House is now being powered by juvenile delinquents.

Sadstone Power Station will soon be generating electricity using three massive hamster wheels being turned by the unemployed, overweight, unfit, bikies, criminals, refugees and pensioners.

Arch Premier Campy Nooman jetted into Sadstone yesterday to announce his latest brain puff.  “Construction of the first giant wheel is underway, and it will be powered by all the dole bludging folk I made redundant last year.”

Canned-Do also unveiled his plan to halt all future wind, tidal and solar generators, and utilise People Power instead.  Householders will be able to apply for rebates for smaller hamster wheels which can be turned by family pets, or passing vagrants.

Arch Premier Nooman admitted he came up with the idea whilst tormenting the pet hamster he keeps on his desk.

“It’s clean and mean, which is just how we like it!” he told our stunned reporter.

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BROKE! The Movie.

Steve playing 'a not very nice person at all' in Last Train to Freo

Steve playing ‘a not very nice person at all’ in Last Train to Freo

A movie called ‘Broke’ is currently being filmed right here in Gladstone!  And, oddly enough, it’s not based on my financial history.

I did score a small part though, after the producers misheard a comment from a mate who had described me as a ‘full on bit of an artist’.

So, as ‘Walking Customer #2 at the service station’, my dazzling four seconds of acting bought a depth to the role that was slightly deeper than the paper it was written on.

Although my best acting was done behind the scenes when I pretended to be assisting the caterers; but was actually Hoovering up all the good snacks.

In between scoffing down free food and thumbing through the expensive magazines in the service station, I caught up with the nice folk who were making the film; usually just after they’d asked me, “Who are you?  And why are you drinking my coffee?!”

The lead actor, Steve le Marquand, plays a down and out ex-footballer living on Gladstone’s streets, and he’s captured the role so perfectly that when he wandered over to introduce himself, I growled, “Shove off pal, these sandwiches are for the cast and crew!”

Fortunately, I wasn’t the only one fooled.

Apparently several passing locals also offered Steve money and food during filming and he was so impressed by our local generosity that he declared, “If I ever end up living on the streets, then I’m definitely doing it here in Gladstone.  It’s warm, and the locals give you stuff!”

At this point I politely asked him not to spread this around when he got home.

Filming wraps up in a couple of weeks’ time, and if you’d like to meet one of the stars, just look for a broke looking bloke ‘assisting’ the caterers.

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