Monthly Archives: September 2014

Wanted – Newspaper Columnist… Now!

He's obviously overqualified for the job!

He’s obviously overqualified for the job!

Folks, it’s not easy coming up with three hundred words for this column every Wednesday, so I’m not doing it anymore. Starting next week, I’ll try inserting three hundred words into each Saturdays’ paper and see if that’s any easier.

Basically, there are changes afoot at the Mighty Observer (so don’t sell your shares just yet!), and one of them is moving this column into the Saturday paper. Sadly, what hasn’t changed was the roomful of people laughing their heads off when I demanded a pay rise.

On the bright side, there is now room for a local scribbler to whip up some witty, interesting, or wise words for Wednesdays’ paper. And that’s where you come in; well, one of you anyway.

If you’ve ever had a burning desire to write a weekly newspaper column on pretty much whatever topic that falls out of your brain, then we need to hear from you now, ie: ‘NOW!’ as in ‘Yesterday’.

Of course, you should have some pretty good wordy skill type thingies, but don’t panic too much, as Tuesday’s columnist, Rob Kidd, has set a very low bar for grammar, sentence structure, spelling, syntax and vocabulary use.

And, like Rob Kidd, it’ll help to have a fairly thick skin, as there’s a good chance you’ll upset certain people from time to time. It’s surprisingly easier to do than you think, just ask Rob; once he’s finished throwing stuff at my house.

So, if you think you’ve got enough lead in your pencil to write a weekly column, then unroll a script of papyrus, scratch out a few examples, and email them to: newsroom@gladstoneobserver.com.au

If you make the grade, you’ll soon be living the Rock Star life of the weekly Columnist, just like the girl in Sex in the City; totally unbelievable.

Catch you next Saturday!

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United We Stand!

 

I don't want my daughters playing for this team either... they're not wearing shin pads!

I don’t want my daughters playing for this team either… they’re not wearing shin pads!

“CLINTON?!  No child of mine is playing soccer for Clinton!  Not while I’m head of this house!”

But being a benevolent dictator, I put it to a vote.  What followed was a frenzy of ballot box stuffing, vote rigging, and shady backroom deals that made a Labor pre-selection battle look as soft as a Playboy Bunnies pillow fight.

That was ten years ago, but I clearly remember the moment my ‘Anti-Clinton Bill’ was defeated thanks to our PUP, Dumb Dog, having the casting vote.  One month later, the Middle Princess ran on for her first game of soccer dressed in the hated green, while I stood on the sideline wearing a disguise and silently cursing the democratic process.

To this proud United man, Clinton is the Manly of the local soccer league.  I recalled the many low blows, elbows to the face, knees to the groin, stomped on toes and smacks to the back of the head; and that was just the stuff their supporters did to us as we ran onto the field.  Things got much, much worse when the game started.

But during our time at Clinton, I was stunned to discover that most Greens’ players, coaches and fans weren’t all late tackling, penalty milking, ref bullying, bloodsucking, cheating thugs who would happily run down their own mothers in the car park if it meant they would win a game.

They were genuinely quite nice folk.  Still, I wasn’t exactly devastated when the girls decided to switch to Meteors.

So this weekend, when the Littlest Princess plays against Clinton in the Grand Final, I personally won’t be howling for Green blood; well, not until the second half at least.

And before next years’ season I’ll organise a coup to reclaim my position as head of the house, so Team Bray will finally be United.

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The Going Rates

Fortunately we were able to move our palace to a cheaper area.

Fortunately we were able to move our palace to a cheaper area.

I’ve often wondered why many folk don’t choose to retire in Gladstone, then I opened our latest rates notice and found out why.

Clutching my chest, I staggered inside to break open the last remaining kids’ piggy bank.

Afterwards, I opened a beer then sat on my back deck watching the coal trains chug past and the planes roar overhead, and pondered, ‘What does it cost per day to live in this neck of the woods?’

Whipping out my trusty calculator I did the sums; last year, it cost us just under ten dollars a day to reside here in Gladstone.  ‘Well, that’s not bad value really,’ I reflected as another low flying jet blasted by.

As the Flying Kangaroo disappeared over the horizon trailing my TV aerial, I did some more calculations.

That very day, the sweating CEO of QANTAS, Alan Joyce, announced a loss of 2.4 billion dollars which he described it as ‘confronting’.  Confronting isn’t among the words I’d have used, but this is a family paper and the editor already has me on the Naughty List.

Anyway, to put that into perspective, a loss of 2.4 billion dollars meant QANTAS had haemorrhaged well over 6 million dollars per day, or nearly $28000 per hour!  This made me feel a little bit better about losing three dollars in coins behind the couch cushions last week, and extremely grateful that ‘Irish Al’ isn’t our Mayor.

As another coal train enveloped me in a mossie killing diesel cloud, I smiled and thought, ‘10 bucks a day?  Well, I’d cheerfully pay double that to avoid residing in some of the rat holes we’ve lived in, visited, or sped through with our windows up and doors locked.’

So if that’s the price, then I’ll continue to pay it… until I retire.

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