Monday, August 23, 2010

Hung Up On You

Fair dinkum. We can’t even organise a proper bloody election anymore without drama.

Don’t get me wrong. Blossy likes a lot of things well-hung. I’m a Bogan-ista of the world. I’ve had one too many cocktails in Jamaica (“yeah mon”), so I KNOW well-hung. But after this weekend’s Federal Election, I’m not sure about this hung parliament.

The situation between Tone & Jools reminds me of picking teams for sports afternoon at school. All the good players get chosen quickly for each side, then there’s the leftover group at the end that have to be divided up so that the game can start:

Jools: Oh Okkkkkk, I suppose I’ll have the Green. As long as he promises not to get in the way.
Tone: Then I’ve got the Independent that likes guns. Just in case we need to shoot the Green.
Jools: Fine then, that means I get an Independent as well. I'll have them both. We'll neg-o-see-ate.
Tone: No, I want the one then.
Jools: Nah Budgie, I want extras on MY team.
Tone: No way ‘Ranga, you’re not having a bigger team than me.

And so it goes on until the teacher just blows the whistle makes the teams and tells everyone to stop fussing.

It has kind of thrown the metaphoric whale amongst the harpoonists really. This week, it’ll be on for young and old. It's like political commentator Laurie Oakes' dream come true.  Do Tone and Jools woo the balance of power with a meat tray, or threaten to stab each of the four non-major party reps to political death if they don’t comply?

And wasn’t election day just so FUN this year???

Because the campaigns were so lame, election day got back to its roots. Sausage sizzles and cake stalls. People out and about, happy to vote, just to get the damn thing over again so that something else is on the news each night. I do wonder whether we have to have SUCH a huge piece of paper though when we vote. It doesn’t fit in the voting booth. I’m all for the right of people to create a party and try to get into the Senate, but really… like Brad the Tradie said, “It’s the Party-party-party Party!” They may as well have a Nanna’s for Cake Stalls Party. Sponges and a good lammo are big Down Under.

Like dutiful Aussies we are, the tellies went on in the arve, waiting for the announcement of the results. Our teenage BHG wasn’t too happy, given that the coverage bumped Funniest Home Videos off the Saturday evening schedule. Never-the-less, we used it as an opportunity to explain the Australian Parliamentary system. And as it turns out, not too many can actually do that anymore. Let alone explain a ‘hung’ parliament. The poor adolescent kept coming into the room asking who’d won. Each time we’d have to say, “no one yet”. She’d roll her eyes and go off to chat on Facebook. I explained Hung Parliament to her as the rest of the country was Googling it and the BHG summed it up at about 10pm: “So neither of them are good enough to captain a team”.

Good point.

So here’s what I propose: I will step up and lead the country. On behalf of the Bogan Party, Blossy will be PM. A few changes will need to be made though in order to truly have the Bogan Party make their mark. I’ve put a good morning’s thought into this and had two cuppa’s, and here’s what’s gonna happen:

1. The PM gets to work from home (in her ugg boots if she so desires). If I’m only a ‘face of the party’ then I think that’ll work. Those who actually like to get up at sparrow-fart o’clock in the morning can email me any questions at about 10am and I’ll have a think and get back to them before The View starts on telly at one.

2. The PM’s glamour photo shoot will not be for Women’s Weekly. It will be for Ralph Magazine (with lots of digital enhancement, hair extensions and air-brushing obviously).

3. There’ll be a reduced tax, or subsidy or whatever it’s called, on all Barbecue-able items. That includes accompanying salads, sauce and buns. Must be Aussie produce. No foreign crap.

4. People like Mining Magnates can be rich as long as they promise to hold a reaaaaally big party every coupla months. And give away free cars like Oprah does. And you can apply for extra stuff from the mining companies, like a pool and a new plasma telly or a bucket of hundred dollar bills.

5. With the new Boganised Family Tax Benefit comes a free annual cruise without your kids. For a week each year the offspring get put in an orphanage or other such horrid place (with no face painting or icecream obviously) so that they appreciate their parents more. Similarly, parents will be encouraged to medicate their child or themselves with a short period of substance abuse when things get rough. Parents with totally rancid children will be sent to New Zealand.

6. Whilst we’re on the topic, a Pet Tax Benefit (PTB) will be introduced whereby Bogan-approved dogs attract free vet treatment and Pal. Corgies and those white fluffy wanker dogs with ribbons in their fur will all be extradited.

7. ‘Boat People’ – see Item 4 ‘Child-free Cruising’. Only boats with buffets, hot tubs and Jim Beam will be approved.

8. All Bogans will have the right to Bare Arms. Yep, two free singlet tops per household. Tradeable for a checked flannie in colder regions.

So, with Blossy now as PM, I open the forum to you Ozzz-trayyy-leeah.
Any there any other policies you want? I’m working from home, so just post your suggestions and I’ll think about it over a glass of cask Lambrusco later.

The Bogan Party… chillax mate!

Hung Up On You, Madonna, 2005.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Working Class Man

We’ve got a driveway now.

I know, seems like such a small deal… unless you DON’T have a driveway. Fortunately, I have four-wheel drive, so parking hasn’t been a huge issue at the new BeachVille abode. A building company puts in stuff up to ‘the crossover’ (which sounds a bit like one of those psychic conventions) and then you fix the rest. It took a lack of ‘approach speed’ on Brad the Tradie’s behalf (crunch… crunch…) to have us say “Bugger it. Ring a paver! Get a tradie!"

I know what you're thinking. Brad the Tradie IS a tradie. He’s a Landscaper even. But he doesn’t pave. Too much bending over and painkillers involved. So, when in a new area, how does one actually FIND a paver? All tradies are on a ‘word of mouth’ system in this great nation…. So BtT rang the fence dude who’s currently deciding whether he might put our pergola up sometime before we turn 60: “ahhhh, maaaate. Do ya know a paver?” “Ohhhh maaaaaate. Pretty tight, but I reckon I might be able to make a call for ya…” So, after much consternation and with us thinking a great favour had been done,  suddenly there was Mal. Why do these people always have one syllable names? And a team of other people with one syllable names?

Mal’s lost his license.

Not his paving one (not sure you need a license to pave someone’s driveway). No, his driver’s license. I’ve heard of a few people being banned from our roads recently, and one has to be pleasant to the tradies at one's house, so I thought, to make small talk (leading up to a friendly segue that would include a request for Mal to put a shirt on), that I’d ask what had happened:

Blossy: So, Mal, no license. That must be tricky.
Mal: Yeah, we have to get Gazza to drive the work ute. He’s the only one left of us that’s legal.
Blossy: Right. Sooo… lots of speed cameras these days. That’s it huh?
Mal: Nah. Mine was DUI.
Matt (offsider): Mine was a Reckless.
Mal: Yeah, then I got done for drivin’ without a license and bein’ on the p***. I’m off the grog now but. Been dry for four months.
Blossy: Well, that’s GREAT. (thank Christ he’s off our roads… mental note to send thankyou card-lette to local police)
Mal: Yeah, I’m usin’ natural medicine now. Herbal. Coz I’m so jumpy like. Yeah, except that givin’ up the p*** means I’m smokin’ twice as much weed.
Blossy: Right then. Well, ummm… good luck with the up coming birth of your child  I hear you're having (thank Christ I won’t have to teach the brain-injured sprog).
Mal: Yeah man, they’re expensive. That’s why I gotta work you know? Like, I’ve got a Rotty and another dog to feed as well. And you don’t get no rebate from the government to have dogs. At least they pay ya to have kids.
Blossy: Yes, thank GOODNESS for that. Shame the weed’s not subsidised hey Mal?

So I left them to it with a bottle of coke and three plastic cups. BtT paid the team cash at the end of the day, "much appreciated thanks maaaaaaate", no doubt to be put towards the sprog’s edumacashon. Or drugs. Driveway looks good though. For a driveway.

Which brings me to tradies in general.

 I know I’m married to one, but I still felt VERY judgemental towards Mal and his crew. My tradie doesn’t spend his cash on weed. He buys his wife overseas holidays. Mine doesn’t live in a Vizzie vest and he’s a competent speller (and expert Scrabble player might I add). Maybe I just lucked it. He DOES have a one-syllable name.

Our neighbours on each side are what we, here in Beachville, call FIFO’s.

They’re tradies that Fly In, then Fly Out of mines in Western Australia. For those NOT in the know, many mines in this vast state are not situated in lovely places where dolphins roam as free as the sunshine. They’re in hot, dusty, horrid places where one’s wife will not move to. So FIFO’s go away, dig up stuff and fly back again. There's even a support group for partners of FIFO's. Like the Public Library, there's possibly free Arnott's Family Assorted biscuits involved.

We had afternoon tea with Jake the FIFO from next door the other arve. I call arvo tea in tradie-land a 'Six-pack and a Bogan platter.' I don’t bake muffins for these events, not like I would a morning tea for teachers. I don't bake Gingerbread Julia's like I would for my public servant brother-in-law.  Everyone knows that you don’t have muffins with a six-pack of JB or Corona. DUH. You have cheese, bikkies, some salami or cabanossi and perhaps…. only if the occasion calls for it… a corn relish or French Onion dip or a bag of  plain Kettle chips. That’s it. As BtT says, “Don’t be puttin’ any of that weird sun-dried tomato crap on there.” Or Blue Cheese. Colby & Cheddar are OK. Brie at a pinch. Jatz crackers but not Lavosh. Water crackers are OK, but not preferred. The rules of a Bogan platter are clearly defined. As a Tradie Wife, I'm advised to stick to the rules.

Whilst BtT was taking a call (Tradie’s always have to take a call…) I chatted with Jake:
Blossy: So, Jake, what is it that you do at the mine in Kal? (Kalgoolie for those not in the know)
Jake: Well, I was drivin’ dump trucks, but I’ve like stepped up, so now I get to blow up sh**.
Blossy: Ahhh. Well, that sounds satisfying. Is there a good career trajectory there?
Jake: Yeah. Hard rock. Gotta get the gold out. Always need good explosives experts.
Blossy: Yes, don’t we just. So you like it out at Kal?
Jake: Yeah mate. They pay for everythin’ except the p***.
Blossy: Ah well, can’t be havin’ you drunk whilst blowin’ s*** up now can we?

I learned a lot about our neighbour Jake the FIFO. Jake likes cheese. And he’s just bought a boat, so we’re all goin’ ocean fishin’ one weekend. Grrrrrrreat. BtT and I are thinking of installing a crustacean sink out the back in which to rinse the sealife before we eat it. Best not to do it in the house apparently. Jake knows these things. I believe him…. Truly. Crustacean sink is go. Possibly has even elevated in position of necessity above the 65 inch telly for the Home Theatre. Apparently Jake's wife Lara hates it when he washes the crabs in the kitchen sink, or the bath.

So the new rule in our house is that BtT gets to interact with the Beachville tradies.

They’re a bit more full-on than those I’m used to. And quite frankly, I think I scare them, not sure if it's the big words, the invasive nature of my questioning or if they can just smell that I quite like blue cheese.  One just shouldn’t ask, “What are you reading at the moment?” unless you’re prepared for an answer of “the telly guide”.

I am trying though.  I went to Target today and bought a new pair of leggings. They're black, so they go REALLY well with my grey ugg boots. I’m undercover, pretending to be a part of Tradie Land.

Pass the cabanossi luv. And get me a beer.

Working Class Man - Jimmy Barnes, 1985.