Saturday, January 21, 2012

Campbell Newman gives himself a savage demotion, more porkies about pokies, and it is –seriously – testicle-tickling time in North Queensland. Not kiddin’, folks.

Yup, right now it’s the annual jiggling of the jewels right across the north of the country, and The Magpie knows it for a fact – he heard it on the ABC.


No, no, it's not The Ogre's dearest wish come true, but STOP PRESS is a bit outdated. 
Just in, this very minute (11.50-am) from a southern spy, who insists the evidence is now there that Anna Blight will call an election on Tuesday. He is convinced of this after learning that in the past 48 hours, the ALP has deposited with Australia Post a huge mailout of attack material slamming Campbell Newman. The mailout is confined to Ashgrove, the seat Newman must win if he is to become premier. Our spy says this sort of material is never released far ahead of an election for fear of leaks. So given the minimum time allowed for a state campaign is 26 days, The 'Pie's spy reckons you can back in the poll taking place on either February 25 or March 3, still staying suitably clear of the fixed March 31 for the local government elections. ends. 

Also, we’re deep into the  annual awards season, with the Golden Globes just handed out and the Oscars coming up, so The Magpie thinks it appropriate to start giving out some gongs of his own.

The Andrew Wilkie Leaky Punch Bowl for the Chicken Little The Sky Is Falling Award goes to Clint Williams , manager of the Cowboys Leagues Club – he also gets the  Wayne Swan Madkap Mathematics Silver Swizzle Stick.
Mr Wilkie himself gets the self-explanatory Dick Slammed In Door Bronzed Willy Splints, The Moaning Mullet takes out the Pink Pigs Cleared For Takeoff  Plate and Vase,  and even The ‘Pie’s most avid reader and old chum, Michael  ‘The Ogre of Ogden Street’ Wilkins garners the News Ltd Stiff Upper Lip Engraved Pen and Pencil Set.

All the details here in this week’s nest at

Politics later, but first ….

How to you check if a prize bull isn’t just full of …well, just bull?  How are you going to know if several hundred kilos (and several thousand of dollars) of  prime porterhouse will by autumn have a satisfied cow puffing happily on a post coital ciggy, and sometime later, knock out a few hundred kilos of veal scaloppini?

Well, for the answer, you could ask vet Libby Lynch, which is exactly what ABC radio rural  reporter Miriam Hall  did this week.

You see, one of the most under-appreciated aspects of living outside a metropolitan area  is that ABC radio informs you of things you never believed you would hear or learn And possibly never want to.

So The Magpie listened in frozen fascination on Thursday as he learnt how to get sperm for testing from a bull; The ‘Pie had always figured you’d need, at the very least, a very friendly bull,

Ms Hall, who obviously knows how to keep a straight face, decided to find out how cattle breeders know if they’ve got a ‘real goer’ for their money,

The eye-watering highlight of the interview with Libby Lynch, our lady veterinarian, was her cheery explanation of how these things are achieved via a  ‘tickle’ from an ‘electro-ejaculator’, powered by a 12-voly battery! At which point, it's a fair bet that every male listening started sphincter-clenching at a rapid rate . The Magpie thought at the time it was all very well for a sheila to suggest this was just a ‘tickle’, but she had never had the family jewels swaying in the breeze, ever the possible victims to Willy Shakepeare’s ‘slings and arrows’ let alone those bloody fardels.  

But the best (?) was yet to …err …come.

When the reporter Ms Hall asked how such a small item – about the size of a packet of chewing gum, apparently – could achieve and retain the desired cooperation from a bull, Dr Lynch jauntily explained that her ‘testicle tickler’  was shoved  - are you ready? - up the bull’s bum, the power whacked on, which provided the necessary ‘tickle’. This caused the beast to – well, as we used to say  in high school  ‘cough in his rompers’.

It was about this stage that The Magpie suddenly saw a vision of hundreds of radio listeners at the various Shady Palms Old Codgers Retirement villages rattling the delicate porcelain of their  morning Earl Grey Extra Fine and spraying crumbs of Iced VoVos as wild images stampeded before the mind's eye. No doubt there was some be-cardiganed old bugger in the corner transfixed as he gazed back down the years to the good times of a distant past.

Anyway, if you don’t believe all this, have a listen here, which includes a graphic description of the pertinent points to look for in any subsequent examination of the ticklish results.

The whole episode proved to be far more informative and bluntly honest – and amusing to those of a crude turn of mind - than the week’s political offerings.
But is he just firing blanks?

The Brisbane Bantam, Campbell Newman continued a worrying trend of grandiose promises without any explanation of how they would be funded. This is exactly what he’s constantly accusing  Anna Blight of, and has prompted what passes for Labor wit to suggest the retired Army Engineers Major is now just an infantry Gunner. Or that should be ‘gunna’, as in gunna do this, gunna do that , and is gunna tell us how only when and if he’s elected. This all-too-familiar stance has more than a few of the electorate worried, particularly up here in the north, where he’s ‘gunna’ fix the Bruce Highway (which a report by independent experts released during the week deemed to be the most dangerous highway in Australia). There are now tho are wondering if we facing a ‘same horse different jockey’ scenario

The pokies saga continued on its boring way, with Andrew Wilkie  still walking and talking despite losing his power position with Julia Gillard. He is still spruiking up his incredibly complicated demands for ‘pre-commitment’, when all the time, simpler and quicker reforms are available but would require a bit more political spine than is currently available (like dollar bets only, or The ‘Pie’s fared idea of  limiting the most a player can win to a couple of hundred bucks max.

But the overkill opposition from the club’s is tedious at best and exaggerated to the point of outright nincompoopery. And the clear local winner of the shock-horror award is Cowboys Club boss Clint Williams, who just stopped short of putting on blackface and doing a modern version of Al Jolson’s ‘Mammy’ when tremulously speaking of ‘the oldies who would lose some of their little comforts we try to provide’. Mr William seemed close to uncontrollable sobs as he painted pitiful scenes of streets littered with jobless hospitality workers, (‘we’d have to sack half our staff’), of inevitable price rises and the apparently obvious conclusion that ‘if Andrew Wilkie gets his way, no one will be able to afford to go out in Townsville’.  Oh, purleeese! It appears not all the turkeys got killed for Christmas.

But Mr William’s histrionics seemed to fit in with other political gas-bagging this week. The Moaning Mullet came up with the clever idea of how she would get a new entertainment and convention centre for Townsville without the ratepayers having to cough up a red cent. ‘I will personally door knock the state and federal governments,’ to tell them they should pony up without asking the locals for anything.  Thar ya go, easy, crikey, why hadn’t anyone thought of that before? Les Tyrell took the barely veiled insult in his stride, and showed a rare flash of dry wit with his verdict ‘Good luck with that’.

Our final award goes to Michael The Ogre Wilkins, down in the Ogden Street bunker. Rather than rip up his nighty in rage, Wilkins is reported to have kept a stiff upper lip when the news came through that his predecessor and executive lightweight Jason Scott has been appointed managing director of News Queensland. As one of the several staffers who reported the appointment to The Magpie, that effectively makes Scott Wilkin's boss, because the state MD effectively runs not just the Courier and Sunday Mail, but also the Cairns Post, the Townsville Astonisher and the Gold Coast Bulletin.

Once a metropolitan high flyer, Wilkins was ordered north to replace Scott, who was shuffled off to Perth.  Wilkins was seen as a heavy hitter from the south who was tasked with sacking a goodly chunk of staff, so the jobs could be relocated into southern sweatshop ‘hubs’ which Wilkins helped devise. Now Scott’s elevation above him in the pecking order must have The Ogre thinking what a funny old world it is. Only he probably isn’t laughing.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar where The ‘Pie will endevour to get himself into a ticklish situation, but – as they always say – batteries not included. Well, maybe not.


  1. It will be an interesting election. Thanks Magpie for your thoughts on the election date.

  2. Not being picky Mal, but that would be an 'artillery' gunner. And whilst I was infantry, was also attached to arty for a while loading a hamel gun as part of the crew , thats how I know

  3. Big morning in the Willows Market tda Sun 22nd rate payers did'nt know where to turn .Stalls manned by Sam Cox , Team Mullet & her some of her various candiates (all with cute little name tags) and of course The Forest Gump Group . Only groups missing were put Last First and of course J Jimieson and his group jumper Jacobs ,could he have joined the band...

  4. And Miriam was affronted when I asked her how hands on they get with the bulls. The reality was much more shocking that I'd imagined!

  5. Paul Anderson of PimlicoJanuary 26, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    Whatever backroom machinations are going on at the Astonisher, there's no getting away from the sense that lately, the paper's been committing the cardinal sin of being just plain boring. And what in God's name is going on with the online 'for the full story, hie theeself on down to your local newsagent and buy a copy of today's paper, cheapskate!'? No, I don't believe I will, thanks ALL the same... Is circulation actually improving off the back of this particular stupid stunt? Not for a moment am I suggesting that the return of Typo would be preferable...just that the daily litany of 'Cat-Stuck-Up-Tree-Isn't-It-JUST-AWFUL' has become especially (yawn) tiresome, even by this town's exceedingly-low-to-begin-with standards.

  6. Whoa, steady on, Paul, remember what happened last time you graced the comment section of the nest. Sentiments like that might see you again receive a mildly menacing invitation to visit the editor's office to be 'straightened out' about The Magpie. First time The 'Pie has heard of a reader being called in for some disciplinary correction. But that was Typo. The Astonisher seems to be a lot less shrill nowadays, and one hopes it will increase its numbers with solid and fair coverage of the state and council elections, so once more, it can lay claim to the title of the Daily FAB (Fair Accurate Balanced).

    As they say, hope springs eternal in the human (and avian) breast.