Saturday, January 11, 2014

The House That Cassimatis Built … that ugly, angular jumble on Melton Hill … looks like going on the market again.


And its current owner is said to be in more strife than the early explorers.

A final word on a pack of absolute Bs ... as in bats, Beattie and Bligh …

Those unfortunate acronyms keep piling up …

… and toilet humour – believe it or not, it can be good clean fun, as things always are here in the nest at www.townsvillemagpie.com.au


Man about town Gavin Thompson is the subject of the fevered local rumor mill just now. The ‘Pie who hasn’t had the pleasure, is told that Mr Thompson has been involved in hospitality and entertainment ventures around town for a while now (the Bank Nightclub, Monsoons and the Centenary Hotel in Pimlico), doing well enough to snaffle up the Cassimatis Castle on Melton Hill when the founder of Storm Financial was forced to sell after being revealed as a financial grub. Well actually, it would seem that his partner Amy Tomlinson, daughter of former Astonisher managing director Max Tomlinson, is the owner, but all that's a bit vague. Nevertheless, it seems under the current circumstances, it will be up for grabs again. And, boy, given that connection, it's going to be super interesting how the Townsville Bulletin handles this one, if they touch it at all. 



The house has always been controversial and to The Pie’s eye, a bad-taste, boastful finger to the world from the Cassimatis's, a couple much devoted to conspicuous consumption (often not theirs to consume, apparently). Despite the original garish colours being toned down, the building seems to be a modern take on Gormenghast, the haphazard castle ruled by Titus Groan in Mervyn’s Peake’s magical and brilliant Gormenghast trilogy (recommended reading for some of the best English written in the past century).

Gormenghast Ccastle

But it seems our Gavin may be doing a bit of his own groaning, if the snippets of info filtering down the MagpieFone are on the money. It is suggested that he hasn’t been travelling financially all that well lately, and even the dreaded Big B word has been mentioned.

Gavin Thompson
And then there is the possibly related and murky matter which may become known as the Three Poker Machines Caper. Reports suggest that when he was in charge of the Australian hotel, the three machines were removed, and ended up across town in a different boozarium in the ‘burbs ... funnily enough, the Centenary. The purpose of this alleged chicanery isn’t clear, but it is easy to work out how it would be a scam if there was something shonky about the matter, apart from the possibility of outright theft from the employer at the South Townsville pub. Put simply, it would be easy to keep the money from the three, unregistered machines and do a bit of creative bookkeeping at The Australian to create a nice little (tax-free) earner. That is not to say that Mr Thompson  himself was the purloiner, but you'd be entitled to think he'd notice something as the boss.

Funnily enough, the liquor and gaming people are somewhat humorless (and tight-lipped) when it comes to shenanigans like this, and the state government also takes a dimmish view as well. Funny, that. 

The stories have come from many sources, and The Pie has been unable to get hold of Mr Thompson  for comment, it is almost certain that he will now contact The Pie if all this is a load of old cobblers, for which the old bird will humbly apologise. Indeed, grovel.  Or, on the other hand, Gav may just make a cheery call to offer a free character assessment of your ‘umble correspondent. Or maybe not.

...


Horrible Thought Image of the Week was prompted by this tweeted pic revealed by Crikey.com.

Seems this is the new mayor of Geelong Darryn Lyons, described as a celebrity paparazzo, presumably that's latte-set talk for a photographic pest, and the glama, Elissa Friday is his squeeze. Indeed, she is his intended. And his Girl Friday is wearing a skirt made from the local Murdoch rag the Geelong Advertiser. Court jesters have been having a field day, the best asking that she turn around, he wanted to read the sports section. And you’d bet she has some interesting classifieds on the inside pages.

Then – shudder – it hit The ‘Pie. 

What if this jolly wheeze became a craze for others around the country who don the possum-fur trimmed robes of office. And what if … oh, no, please … our own mayor Mullet decided on a similar pic, but with her – thank God – fully clothed and Anthony Simpleton towering over her in a Borat-style mankini made from pages of the Daily Astonisher? Perish the thought … but … heh, heh, heh … any good photoshoppers out there?

Hastily moving on.

Both you readers may have noticed that The ‘Pie occasionally gets worke up about something (but no more than once a day).

So this small rant has been simmering away for a week or two now. Under the direction of mayor Frank Beveridge, a ‘humane’ campaign was recently started to drive the bats out of Charters Towers centrally-located Lissner Park. 


Yes, those are bats - but just a tiny few of the CT colony.

It was planned to go for a couple of weeks, with choppers, bells, whistles, smoke and possibly speeches by Bob Katter, to get the pissing smelly creatures to hie themselves off hence.

But it all stopped after a couple of days, because the critters had largely buggered off! 

Two days, and no great harm done to the lovely ickle menaces. And at last report, they were for the most part staying away. The pervading smell, noise and bat droppings look like being a thing of the past, and the taxpaying residents have the relief they have so long sought.

Two days!! 

And here's two social engineers and political toadies to the Greenies that  the good burghers of Charlies Trousers can thank for years of misery.
Anna Blight (no, that's not an misspelling).


Former premier Batman

Yet Bligh, and Beattie before her, both cowtowed to Green elements and other noisy uncaring fruit loops like Dr Carole Booth, and used their position to make the last half dozen years or so a living hell for the residents of the Towers. 

So it is extra galling when it took just two days when a new government with different priorities – people before bats - gave the go ahead to move the colony. That's after more than 5000 days of misery imposed by political arseholes who wouldn’t know a bat even if they looked in the mirror. History will judge them both on this, as well as all the other appalling mismanagement and cronyism that has come to light.

Sad to think that Campbell Newman actually looks good next to his predecessors … unless you go as far back as Joh.

Our resident doodler Bentley was a bit of a bodgie (remember bodgies and widgies?) in his younger days, so he can sympathise with that bloke who was fined for stretching a stiff leg while riding his motorcycle on the Logan Motorway. But he has a FU streak in him, does our Bentley, and he can see a whole generation defiantly thumbing their noses at society.



Speaking of FU, you will remember last week’s stuff about the unfortunate acronym for East Gippsland’s Federation University. Well, that nuthin’, folks. Turns out that’s the least of it. 

In Perth, it was a near miss back in the 80s when the uni there was about to be officially called Curtin University of New Technology … but someone tactfully suggested dropping the ‘new’, which they did after working out what silly – umm – Curtain University of New Technology's they’d look otherwise.

Then there is the Prahran Institute’s Students Society, no doubt holding many an Unusual Party.

Even the ABC had to rethink the name of a mini-series about Captain Cook, since this form of television always becomes known acronymically. It’s original title by some twat  was The Wind And The Stars – this was quickly changed to the less poetic but acceptable Captain Cook.

But some places, like Flinders university in SA, not only don’t care, but some student bodies go out of their way to push the undergraduate yukyukkery, as reported by Crikey.com.

"The uni’s cricket club (FUCC) was disappointed that it just missed out on the coveted acronym, but the sports association very quickly came up with the Flinders University Canoe & Kayak Society (very small ampersand used) which solved the problem. The Adelaide City Council had a predictable response when the club wanted to have its own boat shed on the banks of the River Torrens in the city centre, advising that it would only be allowed if the society's name was painted on as 'Flinders University of SA Canoe & Kayak Society'. Spoilsports. I seem to remember that the society decided not to bother with a boathouse."

And the following could only happen in the Northern Territory, the type of political protest you won’t see nowadays. Back in the 80s, the Country Liberal Party lobbied hard for its own university, but federal Labor steadfastly refused on the basis of population. But the CLP went ahead without federal help, and called the place the College University of Northern Territory. It stayed that way for a full 18 months.

This may be apocryphal but as a youth, The ‘Pie was told that the local Country Party member for Tamworth, Bill Chaffey, was getting shirty at a meeting because he was accused of being ‘citified’ and ignoring local needs. Bill is reputed to have thundered ‘I’ll have you know I’m a country member’, to which someone yelled, ‘yeah, we remember.' 

Speaking of such things, seems PM Wingnut is pushing for a new emphasis in political awareness in early childhood learning, insisting on a slightly altered traditional nursery rhyme. He is said to want all young kids to sing


Altogether now one, two ….


‘Tow, tow, tow, their boats,
Even though they scream,
Verily, verily, verily, verily,
Oz is but a dream.’



Some who've made here have found Oz to be a nightmare. Like the pommy cricket team. The ‘Pie hears that Queen Betty is preparing a special welcome home for her flannelled fools when their tour ends after the one-dayers.



Toilet humor isn’t everyone’s cup of pee, but sometimes, it can be good, clean - and clever - fun.

There has long been an often tedious tradition around the world to give fey names to hotel toilets - you know the sort of thing, Guys and Dolls and so on. One that The Magpie well remembers from many years ago was - maybe still is - in the North Sydney Hotel opposite the footy ground. The owners at the time, both dog fanciers, labelled their toilets Pointers and Setters. Neat.  

Someone has collected some of the funnier – even poignant – scrawlings of humorous drunks in the ‘shouses’ of American bars. Here’s a sampling:

Make love, not war, aww hell, do both - GET MARRIED.

If voting could really change anything, it would be illegal.

If pro is opposite of con, what is the opposite of progress – congress!!

Sign above one urinal ‘Express Lane – five beers or less'.

Sign over a womens toilet mirror: ‘You’re too good for him’.

Sign of a men’s toilet mirror: ‘No wonder you always go home alone’.

And one The Pie well knows will cause a sad but knowing 'ain't that the truth' nodding of many a female head:
A woman’s rule of thumb – if it has tyres or testicles, you’re going to have trouble with it.’

With that, The ‘Pie will now roll into Poseurs’ Bar, and see if he can talk some lass into being troubled, before he attends the mirror in the gents and reality again sets in (sigh).














      





  

40 comments:

  1. If a pap photographer can defectively run feeling then it's time to elect one for Townsville.

    Jen

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  2. A good round up for this week.

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  3. The Storm finaancial crises seemed like yesterday.

    I went to viewing auction of Storm Financial office. Tacky lounges, chairs etc no expense spared.
    Troy

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    Replies
    1. This week it's a teenager rather than a. Godless thief who stole from a church....

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  4. Yes that was "I take full responsibility for.....power, the health system stuff up etc"....and anything else you want to throw at me. Yep that was our Pete - all responsibility and no accountability. A veritable one man government surrounded by dills . And I will not take a public office job and even stand for election again. Bloody liar and he is still on the public teat now as a former premier!

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  5. Wearing a Fish N Chip newspaper dress from Murdoch's stables is rather fishy.

    Always Good and Always entertaining,

    Sagely Yours,


    Miss Lou.

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  6. The storm house has how many levels?

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  7. Rip Daniel Christie... very sad to read.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/daniel-christie-dies-following-kinghit-punch-20140111-30ndv.html

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  8. Where's Lady Byron?

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    Replies
    1. I'm here! Still enjoying the Pie every week, but my Christmas booze soaked brain cells have not been firing with snappy one liners recently, so I have laid low. But I'm on the wagon now though. P.S. I bow to the Pie for keeping his musings going over the Xmas period. A lesser man would have repaired to the Poseurs Bar and stayed there until Jan. 2...

      Delete
    2. Welcome back lady Byron.
      I like reading your replies . Pie's blog IIS really good.

      Delete
  9. Well the Astonisher must be soo thankful for social media as a source of stories. Today's page 1 story about the pregnant soldier and her heroics in helping to capture intruders in her home - straight off Facebook complete with quotes from the Townsville Crime Alerts & Discussion page. And as she said on Facebook she can't comment to the media without Defence approval (and that did not appear in the story) and most of her Bully comments are in fact her posts. Lazy journalism at its best or worst. Oh and another post about kids chroming at the Willows and attacks on Maccas and Hungry Jacks managers & staff late yesterday afternoon...if that appears as a story too - Facebook again!

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    1. Yup, and now we can wait for for the story about Gavin Thompson and the impending sale of 'Gormenghast' courtesy of The Magpie's blog. But then again, the question is have they known about all along but have decided to sit on it, and only run it when the house hits the markets when/if if Gavvy boy hits the courts and the excrement hits the rotating cooling device.

      The Pie can just hear it down in the Astonisher's FSE offices.

      'Awww, c'mon, we've gotta give Max a break, Christ a couple of his kids work for the firm, and now his daughter is close up on the sidelines of this one, gotta look after our own y'know - even if we did send the old bull buffalo to Adelaide where they hung him out to dry. And how did that prick Weatherup get hold of it ... makes us look a bit dopey.'

      At least we learnt one thing from pregnant soldier story ... the photo credit - source:supplied - means lifted off Facebook or other social media. Thought that was just for bloggers. Terrific look for an opinion-leading (ha!) monopolistic newspaper which employs photographers.

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    2. I read Solider Woman's story . I thought something was fishy regarding the story without approval from Defence.

      Next time, she'll end up as a pin up solider.

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    3. They don't employ photographers, only laze arse ones. The good ones have left or got shafted.

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  10. Monday coffee followed by Pie's blog.

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  11. If you re all, hardly any journos work on weekends.

    Weather images are a guaranteed space filler.

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    1. What really annoys me about the Astonisher are the space wasting page 2 columns like today's effort about a journo getting married. Who Cares? Can't they write about something other than themselves????

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    2. Hate to say this, but, I've watched him flirt and lap dance on flinders.

      Engaged? I'm cynical.

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    3. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJanuary 15, 2014 at 6:59 AM

      Wait till one of them gets PREGnant, and we have to put up with every bout of morning sickness, every scan, every surge of happiness that 'I'm going to be a mummyyyyy...!' Bless. As it is, though, stand by for months and months of every mundane twist and turn in the seemingly never-ending saga of What Engagement's Like. I especially enjoy how the column started out ostensibly to address a social issue, and then before the first sentence had even ended, it had veered into the me me me. Thing of it is, she seems to dwell an awful lot on how this guy of hers screws stuff up all the time; why's she marrying him, in that case? Who is the poor sap, anyway? Anyone we know...?

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    4. The Pie seldom delves into private matters of no public consequence but since Emily has decided to share with us the somewhat less than fascinating fact that she going to, according to columns, marry a completely disorganised klutz who can't organise a wedding booking and whose home life largely (again according to Emily) involves bowling scrunched up balls of paper at his unsuspecting partner, then that person one guesses in one Lendl Ryan.

      Interesting that in the name of attempted (yawn) humour, Emily's no doubt accurate depiction of a totally disorganised dipstick is of a former Chief of Staff and then night editor at The Astonisher. Figures.

      But Paul, if this column doesn't satisfy your demands for intellectual stimulation, there is always Kate Higgins and her fascination with collecting ticket stubs, dislike of moving house and the endless pondering her single state. Kate still disappoints by holding back on giving us the inside running on how she folds her washing, but we'll hang in there in hope.

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  12. Facebook prvides an endless supply of stories pics. Emma must have felt really hit sh.....t without using a pr fax.

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  13. Don't get too carried away with this lot 'Pie! They've cleaned out the Labor hacks from government boards and made plenty of room for their own mates in the process, Caltabiano, Driscoll, don't forget Newman defending the proposed pollie pay hike...

    So sad that the bar is set so low.

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  14. It must be frustrating for you to watch "churnslists ruin the profession.

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  15. In today's TB on page 8 there's a perennial filler that's been doing the rounds since the '80's regarding teenies in the UK acquiring an Aussie intonation in their speech caused by watching too many episodes of Neighbors el al.

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  16. Page 34 of the Astonisher in todays paper has a small ad that states, Townsville Bulletin touches the heart and soul of the city. I just wish they could touch on the truth every now and then, and if anyone is getting touched its the people that pay a dollar twenty to read the sorrowful rag produced by children.

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  17. Hey Woodduck, they had this same verse in the Lost and Founds a few weeks back. Maybe its the action of a fifth "columnist" within their ranks to expose the shabby content and lack of proof reading.

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  18. Ron Bairstow PerthJanuary 15, 2014 at 5:55 PM

    As a counterpoint to your "tyres and testicles" graffiti, one I saw read:"If it has tits or tyres,it's trouble!"
    Another that brought a smile: "Don't throw cigarette butts into the urinal. They get soggy and hard to smoke."

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  19. WTF!!

    Anthony Simpleton has done it again. Taking the gossamer-thin premise that Townsville MAY BE a step closer to getting international flights, he then goes on to knock down his own story - and thereby demonstrating his tenuous grasp on reality - by quoting interviews which hose the whole thing down to 'situation normal, nothing new.'

    So Simpo also demonstrates why even self-respecting fish'n'chip shops only use the Courier Mail.

    And a curious aspect of the story indicates strongly that David The Rorting Kipper Kippin (CEO of the Dudley Doing Nothings aka Townsville Enterprise) and the airport's boss Kevin Gill who is the Chairman of TEL aren't singing from the same song book.

    Gill surely peeved Simpo with a downbeat forecast ' will take time, no results soon, talks are regular always have been' - and the call no doubt peeved Gill, a busy man with little time for the paper's bullshit ring-arounds seeking the slimmest strand for a story. But it appears The Kipper cannot resist the opportunity to don his powder-blue lycra cheerleaders gymslip, white knee boots and pompoms to waffle on about 'early days', 'talks in their infancy' (oh, really?) and the inevitable empty 'great economic boost if it happens' guff. He was basically saying things are moving in that matter - the more believable Gill is not - and Simpo doesn't clarify.

    But the paper's level of engagement and credibility is the use of the word 'may'. What next? Ross Dam MAY collapse and flood six thousand homes? Castle Hill MAY have undiscovered underground bunkers? (Oops, sorry already had than one - several times - on each occasion winning the paper the Steggles Egg On Face Award.) Townsville Hospital chairman John Bearne MAY suddenly develop a social conscience and drop thieving car parking charges - even if just for pensioners?

    All those are as likely as the other big 'MAY' story - that this community MAY see the return to the news pages of sober and responsible reporting concerned with the good of the community and not it's own venal interests and immature sensationalist agendas.

    The 'Pie wouldn't like to be hanging from the left one waiting for that to happen.

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    1. The only time I read the Bully-Tin is when a staff member leaves it on the lunchroom table - in all likelihood had thrown it down in disgust. Even then, I only read it to guess what items of "news" are going to attract the most posts on this blog.

      However, it has got to the stage where I don't even bother to read anything with Simpleton's by-line. His failure to grasp the fundamentals of the English language combined with his distorted take on statistics all mixed in with his blatant bias makes me nauseous. Knowing the little twerp, I would venture to say that he is one of the most punchable creeps I have met in a long time. No wonder his colleagues detest him.

      Does the Bully-Tin have a fixed list of topics that they regurgitate on slow news days?

      I got a news flash for you, Simpo (I know you read this - sometimes even without moving your lips)...one of the Trogs wrote in last week about a Sydney developer owning land on The Strand. I have done extensive research and have established that there actually IS a Sydney-based company that owns a good slice of The Strand. However, the developer is not waiting to put up a five-level skyscraper, they actually have secretly convinced the Townsville First Councillors to agree to them extracting coal seam gas from the site !!!! And, and...The Strand will be permanently closed for a kilometer as further extraction wells are planned !!

      True story.

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    2. What a corker of a story if TRUE.

      Delete
  20. Congratulations to the Iditor of the TB, on today's front page we have 3 pics of the arrest of 3 bikies with their faces obscured. However the plain-cloths (probably undercover) cops are easily identifiable. Of great concern to the police were the discovery of photo's and ID's of some uniformed officers. Now the TB has aided in the expansion of their photo albums

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  21. In the WTF category, making "headlines" on the on-line The Australian are multiple entries re WE should apologise forthwith to Indonesia because one of our ships strayed into Indonesian territorial waters. MMMMmmmm shouldn't we be asking Indonesia to apologise for hundreds of willful intrusions into our territorial waters over many years by Indonesian vessels?
    Maybe an even better and fairer deterrent would be all "illegals" who are found to be non refugees should pay a levy before being allowed to return home equal to twice the amount they paid the smuggler.

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  22. Where's the apology for indo miliatary taking our wild birds???

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  23. Colin Dwyer (preface by The Pie).January 18, 2014 at 9:05 AM

    Although miffed at being left off this list of prospective Qld GGs by the normally astute - well, sort of - Colin Dwyer, The 'Pie posts it for your side-splitting merriment until the old bird posts his regular blog later today. Glenys Schuntner for QGG!?! (Actually, Colin must think she must be a bit backward, naming her as Shunter. No Mullet? Or Messagebank?And you can bet Gracelyn Smallwood is already fuming at 'those bloody racist whities' leaving her off the list.

    Enjoy Colin's sterling first-time effort at humour.

    Colin Dwyer writes:
    Ex diplomat Penny Wensley, the current state Governor, resigns in Mid 2014. Queensland needs a new Governor and North Queensland has many outstanding candidates that could fill the roll. There has never been a North Queensland Governor of Queensland.

    Recent SEQ newspaper articles hint at a Gold Coast or Brisbane governor - what a surprise!

    If we look at history most of QLD's governors have been British, and since the war all have been from old South East Queensland. Two have been women but none have been indigenous and none from North Queensland.

    The closest North Queensland has come to a State governor is Lt Gen Sir John Lavarack; only because the largest army base in Australia, located in Townsville, is named after him and Penney Wensley has some heritage (grand parents) from the Yunguburra region of the Tablelands

    Its time a North Queenslander or at least someone who has experienced living in North of the Pine River for an extended time was State governor.

    There are many experienced well qualified North Queensland candidates.
    Here are some suggestions
    Noel Pearson an aboriginal Lawyer and commentator,
    Senator Ian MacDonald a lawyer and current senator,
    Peter Mackey Retired Lawyer
    Glynis Shunter a regional development specialist.
    Peter Raffles Lawyer and North Queensland Advocate
    Who would you suggest?

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  24. The Daily Astonisher's court reporter, the quite reliable Emma Channon, managed a bit of literary acrobatics in her report on the Townsvile bikies remand hearing yesterday. She wrote:

    'Muhling, who has tattoos on his neck, nodded his head in understanding while his 31-year-old co-­accused Heang remained motionless as they were each led away to the watchhouse. '

    Remaining motionless while being led away seems to make Heang a candidate to join Hugh Jackman's team for next The X Men film. And at least Muhling, obviously a deep thinker, showed no surprise when he learnt he had tattoos on his neck, simply nodding hisn understanding at the news.

    That's why we call it The Astonisher.

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  25. Gavin Thompson is a local businessman with zero experience is running and managing hospitality venues.

    Over the past 3 years he has gone from 1 venue [Bank Niteclub] which he didn't run and manage anyway and quickly built up to 4 venues being the Bank, The Australian Hotel, Monsoons and the Centenary Hotel, within the last 12 months he has now lost 3 of those venues through poor management, lack of experience and himself spending more than he is making [profit wise] with his house, his boat, his 3 BMW's.

    He lost Monsoons because he failed to pay rent to his landlord to the said tune of approx. $72K so he was kicked out, at the Australian, he failed to pay rent and the delayed sale price amount and was forced to either be evicted or sell the business which he did to a wood duck! The Centen, it's now in receivership and gone, purely because he couldn't pay his bill because he was spending it on personal luxuries...

    This man can't sleep at night when good people being local suppliers keep getting burnt from Thompson...

    I hope he loses the lot!

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  26. We wonder about alcohol and its effects? Why does a paper continually promote alcohol?http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/news/townsville/what-else-to-do-but-sit-back-and-party/story-fnjfzsax-1226814468255

    The milk maid must be desperate for a story angle. Not to mention the fishing angle too.

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