Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Mullet does Malta – athletes in London apparently do each other (but safely) – and the latest lamentable chapter in the Townsville Bulletin’s history of hypocrisy.

The Mullet grabs a quick holiday in her ancestral homeland, and she can thank Anna Bligh for the extra costs incurred to have a well deserved break.

And, are you starting to think that some of the world’s star athletes in the London Olympics are looking a bit shagged? That may well be because that’s exactly what they may have been before they reach the public field of battle – shagged in its lusty sense. The ‘Pie reports on a clever and humorous marketing coup – and astounding product generosity - by Games sponsor Durex, the condom people. The company’s marketers realized early on that not all the tumbling and floor routines happen in the gymnastics hall. They figured that the greatest playing field of all was the Olympic village itself.

We also look at a couple of great headlines on another matter related to the big event.

Back home, it is Townsville Council budget day next Friday and  Mayor Mullet will be back in town, refreshed and ready to face reality, after a hurried break in Malta. The Magpie will scotch one rumor being put about that Jenny’s jaunt has further delayed the budget. Exactly the opposite is true.

And a rat’s tale – the tiresome art of the practical joke is unfortunately still alive here in the ‘Ville. Or is it? It’s all here in this week’s nest at
There is a rumor going about that Jenny Hill went on holidays over the past couple of weeks and thus delayed the handing down of the council’s budget for the coming year.

This is simply not true.

The ‘Pie understands that The Mullet had a holiday booked (and presumably paid for) several months ago. As we all know, getting in early usually means less expensive flights. If The ‘Pie has it right, the idea was that all things going to schedule, the election would be done and dusted, and the budget would be handed down, debated and passed by the end of June. There would then be a July/August window of opportunity for a well-earned break for all candidates.

But then Anna Bligh simpered onto the scene, and unnecessarily called a state election on a date which delayed the local government poll by several weeks.

In a knock-on effect, everything else was then delayed, including the council budget. So by the time the horse-trading finished and council staff started in on the mountain of paperwork needed before the budget could come to council, all travel plans were out of kilter- and not just The Mullets. It seems the mayor‘s private trip now fell smack dab in the middle of the crucial budget negotiations and debate. So, The ‘Pie is told, at considerable personal expense, she rejigged her travel plans after council staff advised her when things would be ready.

So on this matter, Mayor Mullet did the expensive but right thing and mischievous stories that she deliberately delayed the budget are just that – mischievous. A couple of other councillors had their travel plans buggered up, too, so all round, a big thanks to Anna Blight, managing to cause pain for people even after she’s been turfed out of office.    

Turning his beady eye overseas, The ‘Pie has been determined to make his weekly burnt offering an Olympic-free zone, the coverage of which has brought us wall-to-wall yell-e-vision every evening, with a smattering of serial thankers (‘I would like to thank mah mom, mah paw, mah coach, mah drug-masking trainer’ and so on – at least when the tears weren’t flowing).  But The ‘Pie will relent on his non-Olympic vow to take a gander at a couple of matters loosely connected with this sporting jamboree.

First, a question which has had the old bird in deep contemplation for a while now: how can Coles be ‘the official supermarket for the Australian Olympic team’?  What gives here – are Coles the sole suppliers of Ice Vo-Vos and Monte Carlo Creams to our mob? But it might have been an omen we all missed, since so many of our team seem to have adopted Coles motto of ‘down, down and staying down’.

But on the 'down, down' theme, there’s one sponsor who deserves a special mention for witty fun in their marketing. 

This is rated the best billboard around London at the moment.
It's also apt that Usain's surname is Bolt - just a shame he's not a shooter.

One shouldn’t perhaps be too surprised that the Games needed a condom sponsor. If your going to bring together the world’s fittest young athletes in one small village for two weeks away from home comforts and restraints, Scrabble and Monopoly just ain’t gunna cut it - although Twister might. Faced with this reality, Durex has supplied the village with 150,000 condoms – 15 for each and every athlete! And given the rainbow hues in which Johnnys now … umm … come (so your old codger is told), there was an opportunity to do a new riff on the Olympics rings.

All this was part of London’s Daily Mail spread about the sexpots taking part in the Games, especially their two star women cyclists – even if they didn’t make it on the track, they’d be gold medallists on the catwalk. Have a look here for yourself – blokes, it’s worth it.

The week’s best headline goes to Maureen Dowd’s column in the New York Times.

First, Ms Dowd, who can be the Madam Lash of columnists when she decides she has spied a naughty boy or girl just begging for a thrashing, decided to give presidential hopeful Mitt Romney some strict discipline, especially over his ill-conceived patronization of London with comments that the city looked to be not ready for the Games. His undiplomatic and off-the-mark comments were made all the more offensive by his suggestion that his stewardship of the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 was a benchmark.

A justifiably miffed Pommy PM, David Cameron, countered with a verbal javelin, suggesting it was ‘easy to organize (a winter Games) in the middle of nowhere’ than the summer Games in the middle of one of the world’s great cities.

Reporting on this latest Romney gaffe, Ms Dowd headlined her delicate shafting ‘Mitt’s Olympic Meddle’.  

Neat. Even better than the Fleet Steet header ‘Mitt The Twit’.

And while we’re about it, some benchmark! All records of the Romney-led organizing and operating committees were deliberately destroyed the day after the 2002 Games ended by an executive involved with Romney’s infamous Bain company. But it has subsequently been revealed that Romney refused to investigate blatant drug abuse, made no announcement that two skiers were sent home for unspecified naughtiness (because it would have made a dent his claim of ‘a clean Games’), and his boast of the Games’ profitability conveniently ignored that they were propped up by $1.3 billion dollars of taxpayers money authorized by the US Senate.

On his swing through Europe and Israel, aimed at giving his presidential candidacy some international cred, Romney has completely ignored minders’ advice to just smile and keep his mouth shut and has put on a performance that makes our own motor-mouth Ewen Jones look like Marcel Marceau.

There’ll certainly be more on this secretive, bible-bashing hypocrite as the US Presidential campaign cranks up into high smear.

Back home, there was a nice little piece of local hypocrisy during the week from the editor of The Daily Astonisher, Lachlan Heywood, who apparently has not heard of the adage 'practice what you preach'.

In yet another squeaking, thumb-sucking editorial bemoaning the uncertainty about public servants job security in light of the Premier’s razor gang, Heywood  harangued Premier Newman for the cruel uncertainty he had foisted on government workers. While quite reasonably lauding the role public servants play in our community, he then wrote this bit of breath-taking double standards:
 ‘They (public servants) continue to do their jobs, but now it is against a background of fear. They have families, and bills to pay, and it is grossly unfair to leave them  hanging in this fog of uncertainty. ‘

Our boy editor then calls on Premier Newman to come clean and be ‘transparent’ knowing full well that this government will announce the full extent of its sackings in its own sweet time.

Just like News Ltd.

Because Heywood’s weasel words apply to exactly the circumstances under which the Bulletin’s staff – indeed all North Queensland News Ltd’s staff - have been working for the past two and a half years.  And those that are left still go to work wondering if they’ll have a job at the end of the day, because The ‘Pie guarantees more will follow those eight or ten sub-editors who will be shown the door at the end of this month.

Finally this week, here's a yarn doing the rounds like wildfire which may or may not be true.

It concerns a Townsville pest exterminator who specialises in getting rid of rats. It is said that he received a call from a distressed woman who needed him to come around urgently to get rid of a rat in her house. She warned our man that ‘it a very large rat that has eaten its way through the whole pantry, and gets really aggressive if it can’t get to food’. So the pest controller arrives at the house, and tells the woman who answers the door he’s here to get rid of the rat eating all her food. To his surprise, he gets an angry earful from the woman who sends him packing and slams the door.

Turns out the address given over the phone was that of Ewen Jones, MP for Herbert.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar where The ‘Pie will seek some colorful Olympic Village-style action. After all, as The Daily Astonisher warned us during the week, take all necessary precautions, it’s magpie breeding season, and you could be in for a good pecking.


  1. Re the Olympic Condoms I said to my wife "I'm going use a gold coloured one tonight"............ she just sighed and lamented "can't you try a silver one and come second for once"??????

  2. Always entertaining Pie. Well said.

  3. Conan the GrammarianAugust 4, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Remember when the term "Breakfast of Champions" referred to what our Olympians started the day with, not what they now finish the day as?

  4. Many years ago, there was a highly controversial condom vending machine installed at the UQ refectory - much to the chagrin of Joh.

    It was barely on the wall for two hours when some wag wrote on the wall beside it, "This is the worst chewing gum I have ever tasted!"

    Mind you, this may be lost upon those who do not recall the Owl chewing gum vending machines.

    Also, that was a time when "writing on the wall" did not involvce a computer and a Facebook account, just a felt pen and a sense of humour.

  5. The 'Pie remembers the condom machine incident very well. Jo had the coppers rip it out - breaking several laws regarding trespass, wilful damage and one person even suggested theft. This was the bible-bashing side of Jo that so endeared him to the electorate. At the time, The 'Pie was working as a producer at Sydney's 2UE. Jana Wendt had a program at that time, and we decided to ring Jo for a word about the machine. Such was the pulling power of Jana (she was the one first dubbed The Perfumed Steamroller for her uncompromising interview style) that Jo gave a rare interview. When Jana asked what could be wrong with having a condom machine in a university and thus promoting safe sex, Jo's classic answer - word for word - was 'Ahh, Jana, and I thought you were a good girl'. And that was more or less the end of the interview.