The Australia in which I grew up was not the Australia of today. Oh, sure: it had its problems. It was distinctly racist and homophobic, yep. But there were compensations. You could ride bicycles without having to wear Iron Man body armour. You could climb trees. You could lead your life without a maze of utterly retarded government legislation, either Labor or Liberal, telling you precisely how to wipe your arse.
Oh -- and there was this Australian sense of humour thing. I miss that. I mean, I really miss that.
Happily, there are corners of the nation which remain sufficiently backward that the Great Australian Jape is still alive. There are still people willing to say "fuck it" to Occupational Health and Safety (among other things) in pursuit of a good time.
I don't know who stole the ten metre high "Big Mango" in Bowen. But I salute them. From the bottom of my heart, with every fibre of my being, I offer them my deepest respect.
Bowen's "Big Mango" stolen.
I like to think there's a handful of desperately hungover blokes waking up in a beat-up old Queenslander on the edge of Bowen right about now. I imagine they have blue-collar jobs, and nicknames like "Baz" and "Dingo". And I like to think that they're gathering on the back verandah, barefoot on the worn boards, passing out icy-cold recovery beers beaded with condensation from the humidity of the morning.
And there it is, in the back yard. There's a tarp flung over it, sure, but it's an afterthought, a fig-leaf placed with a drunken giggle at four in the morning. And Dingo and Baz and the lads are standing on the verandah as the cicadas scream and the flies swirl around their faces, and as the old Labrador who sleeps in the dust under the deck rolls over, grunts and farts, one of the boys reflexively scratches his crotch, downs half a beer, and then says:
"Jeezus fuck'n' Christ! How much piss did we drink last night, anyway?"
I know. It's primitive. It's barbaric. It's chauvinist. It's foolish. It's dangerous. It's unnecessary.
But I miss that sense of humour. And when they put the Big Mango back, I hope they put a giant fucking pair of ears on it and label it "Tony Abbott".
The Cruel Prince collector’s edition
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