Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Daily Astonisher gets gun-shy on one of its favorite scare-the-pants-off-‘em shock-horror subjects – err, maybe it’s a bit close to home, perhaps? And that old kidder, Mayor Mullet, goes for the laughs.

It’s been a week of questionable quotes and random observations. In the quotes department, there is many a chuckleful memory in the passing of the one of the world’s funniest women – The ‘Pie speaks here not of Mayor Mullet, who at last report is still with us - but of Phyllis Diller. 

Also, the inanity of the week and the insult of the week both go to WA – the first to a Krazy Kapers kopper who made the dopiest collar of all time, and the second to the increasingly unlovable Gina Rinehart, who predictably missed something out on her naughty-list message to Aussies about too much drinkin’ and rootin’ and stuff. 

That will also be an exhibit in our quotes, all of which will be revealed if you take squizz into this week’s nest at
 First up, some miscellaneous quotes from the past week.

A general or some other high rank of an Australian Army poo-bah was getting all stern about sexual abuse in the ranks, and that it must be discouraged so females will be happy to join up. ‘We want to create an atmosphere which will encourage women to come in off the streets’ quoth our bloke, sounding more like The Salvation Army Captain for Fallen Women than the Australian Army.

Then there was the American health expert lauding our Attorney-General for plain packaging of cigarettes legislation, only he rather startlingly called her Knee-cola Rocks-on.  Good be good for the yoof vote – ‘yay, Niccy rocks on’.
A-G Nicola Roxon has her rocks on in parliament.

And during the week, we had the loosening up of restrictions on the ‘morning after’ pill, incorrectly titled RU486. Surely it should be RU469, it is after all an oral pill. Magpie mate Mongrel the Barrister lumbered into this dodgy discourse with ‘it orta be called RU4 one nought E …. hur hur hur, gurgle snurffle.’ His crassness knows no bounds – he is now chortling that we’ve had the Olympics, now we are enjoying the Limpics.

He’s not called Mongrel for no reason, he’s a worry.

A sermon from the mountain.
So is Gina Rinehart, who hands-down wins this week’s Insulting Stereotype Statuette. Impatiently tapping her jackbooted toe as she wrote, she deigned to lecture us that anyone can become a millionaire if only the envious whingers would get out of the pub, ‘stop drinking, smoking and socializing and do some work’.  And what’s more, for less money, too, clearly stating that Aussie workers are not only worthless, but also worth less.

But did you notice she didn’t say anything about eating too much? It would seem that the regal Dame Gina is personally vying with BHP Billiton for the title of The Big Australian.

Lang’s ‘little’ girl – who was born into privilege and seems never to have removed the silver spoon from her gob - is becoming more execrable by the minute. So much so, you could almost be tempted to feel a twinge of sympathy for that appallingly tasteless gold digger Rose Porteus, Lang’s widow who battled Gina for a slice of the Hancock fortune. Hmmm, maybe not.

On the local scene, it was a modest entry into the realm of stand-up comedy for our own Mayor Mullet, but there  guffaws galore at her straight-faced patter.

The Electoral Council of Queensland’s list of contributors’ to her election campaign revealed that not only had Bazza ‘Bazooka’ Taylor chucked in five grand to get help get her elected – one wonders what he hoped to get out of that, he is not an ALP member and has always been firmly entrenched in the Barry Taylor Party - but also that the Australian Workers Union ((AWU) had ponied up $10 grand for this ‘independent’ candidate for mayor.

This unsettling, front page news obviously urged our lame duck mayor to have a stab at comedy when she told an unquestioning Astonisher she – wait for it, wait for it - wasn’t and never had been in the AWU faction!

This set the whole Labor element around town rocking with thigh-slapping mirth.  Those not laughing were bemused, going ‘huh’?

Union membership is one thing, affiliation to a party faction is quite another matter altogether. You don’t actually have it tattooed on your forehead or carry ID of same, but actions are the defining badge of belonging. And the AWU doesn’t go around hurling money at candidates who have opposed them in the past – which The Mullet has not.

A case in point: when the proposed sale of state assets went to a union vote in Brisbane a couple of years ago, the four delegates from Townsville were The Mullet, gravy train passenger Les ‘Messagebank’ Walker, and long-serving ALP foot soldiers Paul Fletcher and Donna Yates. Only Donna Yates voted against the AWU’s championing of Premier Blight’s asset sales proposal – The Mullet, Messagebank and Fletcher all eagerly put up their hands. That bit of independent thinking in part cost Donna a place on Team Mullet for the council election.

Mullet, m’dear, to paraphrase Tim Finn’s lyrics, it’s all a ‘faction too much fiction’.

But The ‘Pie must confess he was (seriously) impressed with the businesslike and straightforward way the mayor announced that all the staff and volunteers of community radio station 4TTT had been evacuated from their council-owned studios adjacent to the Dance North HQ, when asbestos was discovered in the ceiling.

She said it was too dangerous to allow people to remain in a potentially hazardous place and everybody had been ordered out immediately.  The mayor also ensured that the council’s media folk put out a timely news release detailing the situation. Television news swooped to interview her and video the offending ceiling area.

Now you’d think this would send The Daily Astonisher in hyberbole hyperdrive, being so beloved of the easily sensationalized subject of asbestos. And the council’s news release was all in good time to make the paper for the next day.

But guess what?

Not a single word that The ‘Pie could discover, neither jot nor tittle, not a dicky bird or chirrup, so if in the unlikely event there was a mention at all, it must have been buried ‘down the bottom and in the back’ as the saying goes.  

Could it be that reporting this prompt and correct action by the mayor and council could attract unfavorable comparisons with The Bulletin’s handling of their own staff’s care in their asbestos-riddled Ogden Street premises? Despite two separate incidents in which what was apparently asbestos dust rained down on hapless staff , workers were – eventually – crammed together in what management called ‘safe areas’ in other parts of the building. It is generally agreed that there is no such thing as ‘a safe area’ in an asbestos affected building.

This could be verging on criminal negligence, and if the person who posted a comment on this blog asking The ‘Pie to name a suitable law firm to handle a class action against the paper in this matter, contact The Magpie and he will give you the name of one reputable outfit that is straining at the bit to act for you.

Other matters.

There is no need to try and dress up this following item with some smartarse observation, it speaks for itself.

A woman in Perth was fined for talking on her mobile phone while in charge of a vehicle – the vehicle in question was a pram and she was walking on a footpath at the time. Sanity won in the end, with the fine being ripped up and the police brass delivering the understatement of the year - that the issuing officer had ‘misinterpreted the rulebook’. Read the whole ridiculous thing here.    

News reports say Phyllis Diller died smiling.
This was the week that recorded the death of Phyllis Diller, the fright-faced, rasping comic who could rattle off a dozen one-liners a minute, each one an hilarious barb at her own appearance, slovenly ways and plastic surgery, or at her fictional husband ‘Fang’.

She also demonstrated the link between laughter and longevity – she was 95.

Here’s a few samples from the Diller dictionary.

‘When I was a kid, we’d play spin the bottle – if you won you either got a kiss or a quarter – by the age of 12, I’d bought a house.’

‘They say housework won’t kill you – but why take the chance.’

‘I’ve never made it into Who’s Who, but I’ve sure been in What’s That.’

‘Burt Reynolds once asked me out - I was in his room.’

‘You know you’re old when your walker has an airbag.’

And the one that has given The ‘Pie an idea ‘The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was the day when I accidentally put gin in my steam iron.’

The showbiz credo for comics is ‘leave ‘em laughing’. You certainly did that, Phyllis, and The ‘Pie thanks you for it.

Enough now, it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, perhaps there to beguile some sweet thing into coming home for a night of experimentation – but don’t get The ‘Pie wrong, he is only talking of putting some gin in the steam iron heh-heh-heh.


  1. Met with some friends for coffee this morning who were apparently reading the Astonisher at a great rate of knots (Yes, I know there is not much to read but this was serious "skim-looking")-It was explained they skim the paper daily to see what sort of a day it is by counting "happy" or "sad' local faces. Saturday's paper almost always a totally "happy face" day, Monday regularly "sad face." I did not dare ask what they did with the paper after that exercise was finished.

  2. Ah, the frightfully accurate Pie. As if Gin_Arhhh Reinf_art could get a grip, let alone her children?

    As it's a garrison town, sad day to see any of our men lost in the battle in Afghanistan. I say, pull out now.

    Astonisher? I told you Pie, in my opinion, they were trying to m@@ der us. Oc Health denied everything implying a once a year air quality control was enough.

  3. The Mare on ch7 about the asbestos scare..."It has been identified as possibly asbestos"....Huh!

    1. Even if it's a possible scare, it shows that this proceedure was not done by the management at The Townsville Bulletin over the several years of having the asbestos in the building.

      I'd prefer to hear 'possible' knowing this mayor took precautions.

  4. Conan the GrammarianSeptember 1, 2012 at 9:45 PM

    My favourite Diller, on her cooking:
    "Clear the table, wash the dishes, bury the dead."
    She will be missed.

  5. Good web page Pie......

  6. The m[mare] might say possible asbestos, but we know the astonisher's scare is real but untold.


    For the Asbestos workers at the Bulletin.

    eg. To conduct licensed asbestos removal work, other requirements include:
    •getting a copy of the asbestos register for the workplace
    •preparing asbestos removal control plans and making them readily accessible
    •informing people before asbestos removal work starts
    •erecting signage and barricades
    •limiting access to the asbestos removal work area
    •having decontamination facilities available
    •disposing of asbestos waste properly
    •being aware of additional requirements for class A asbestos removal work, including air monitoring
    •notifying WHSQ five days prior to work commencing.

  8. Clive and Gina should get it on.

    1. If Clive and Gina got it 'on' - should that actually be possible - would that be a meeting of two great mounds?

  9. Pie. Dumbo is at it again.... Last Tuesday Tony Abbott was in town (cocktail party at the Pier restaurant) except no one new about it..... Dumbo said it was a 'computer glitch' and so just about everybody missed out.... His office said 50 people attended, someone there said it was only 40... It was an embarassment to all especially to senior LNP members who were in the dark.


  10. ALP pushes for national asbestos agency

    From: AAP
    September 04, 20128:39AM

    Increase Text Size
    Decrease Text Size

    THE federal government will act on the recommendations of its own asbestos management review by setting up a national agency to oversee the removal of the deadly material from all government and commercial buildings by 2030.

    Anyone read this? Re The Australian Newspaper today?

  11. BILL SHORTEN: There that's no way that you could predict fully the cost of rectification, but what we also know is that there are 650-plus people dying each year at the moment and that is too great a cost to pay.

    KATRINA BOLTON: The review members believe any delay would be deadly.

    GEOFF FARY: If we were to do that, we are leaving a time bomb for future generations.

    TANYA SEGELOV: The asbestos that's out there now is now 40, 50, 60 years old. A lot of it is on roofs or on the outside of building is exposed to weathering and is starting to deteriorate, bits are starting to flake off, it's starting to crack and fibres and dust are being released.

    ABC interview.

    The Astonisher each time the asbestos flakes, it has a 'safe house' errr derrrr... and one air check too?

  12. The Townsville Bulletin .. sigh... what a sorry sack that is... Today it says the TTH has funding of 70 million (when in fact it is 700 million as clearly stated by the Member for Townsville) but let's not little a little '0' get in the way of a beat up story. Doesn't anyone proof read the incompetent journo's work.... or do they just not care... seems so. Let's see if they print an apology LOL!

    1. Well spotted Anon! Brisbane News Ltd subs are no different to the hiring of Kiwi subs for the SMH.

      We label food products as to where they are made. What about newspapers?

  13. "TOWNSVILLE Hospital staff have become so stressed about losing their jobs, they are "hiding in bathrooms" whenever their managers ask to meet them."
    (Today's Astonisher)
    Attila the Hen must work here too.

  14. Pity no one mentioned the job cuts the "TOGETHER" union made recently - offering redundancies etc. Nope. Can't report that, that would mean putting some journalistic skills to the test.... unheard of at the Bully.

  15. Pie, I think you need a "like" button for your comments page :))

  16. Oh I see the Daily Ashtonisher has been highly commended at the PANPA awards. We call them the pampas (diaper) awards in our household.