I understand that Itha Butthrose has written a new book on etiquette. I am not going to read it. Life is too short to read books by Itha Butthrose. I am sure that it is full of useful information enabling you to attack the serious social problems one might face. For example, when confronted with the 3rd in line to the Duchess of Westminster, and a gold logie winner, to whom would you first pass the cucumber sandwiches ? In promoting her new opus Itha has done the usual chatshows, and I was unfortunate to catch one of these the other morning whilst waiting for the cricket score. As my hand moved towards the off button (no remotes in rural Tassie) I did hear the suggestion that perhaps we should all consider being a little more polite to one another. Not a bad idea.
This morning, I was cleaning the 'top' amenities block at the holiday park. A permanent sign outside says 'These amenities are closed for cleaning between ten o'clock and eleven o'clock ' When I commence my work, I put a small yellow board at the entrance which says 'Amenities closed for cleaning' As I went to a trolley for some rags, a young girl walked passed me, stepped over my sign and walked into one of the cubicles. I said "Excuse me, but I am cleaning that" She grasped the knob on her side of the door, and started to pull it closed behind her while saying " I only want a shower" I grabbed the knob on the outside of the door, and we commenced to have a rather undignified tug of war. I won. I explained that there were other showers in the park, and giving up the struggle, she composed her face into a look which would have curdled milk, and marched purposefully in the direction of the office. I should'nt have been surprised. Her behaviour did however put me in mind of a couple of other examples of thug culture which we have observed during our trip.
We went to Campbelltown the other day, a nice little heritage truck stop on route number one, and were sitting in an outside dining area having a bowl of soup. On the nature strip on the far side of the road, a group of youngsters were servicing an ancient commodore. One of them had his head down under the bonnet, and was removing the spark plugs. His mate standing next to him received the old plugs and handed the mechanic the new ones. Holding the old spark plugs in his hand the mate then turned and torpedo punted the used plugs into the middle of the highway. Being a commodore, he did this six times. He looked mighty pleased with himself too.
When we were in the Northern Territory, we spent an afternoon at Manton Dam, which used to provide drinking water for Darwin, but which has now been superceded by the much bigger Darwin river dam. Manton has now been turned into a very attractive recreational area, with fishing and boating facilities. We arrived at a lawned area at the side of the lake and noticed a group of four young people sitting on a groundsheet. As we stood there, the two couples stood up, and one of the young fellows turned on a ghetto blaster, which had up to that moment been silent. The volume was very loud, and music amorphous, ga ga ish techno crap. The four of them proceeded to walk to their jetskis, and blast off in the direction of the opposite side of the lake, leaving us deafened by duff duff.
I have been surprised recently by the criticism which has been heaped upon poor Brendan Fevola. Here is a man who urinates on other people, and himself, assaults innocent bystanders, drunkenly pukes in public, and loses a kings ransom on the pokies, weekly. I think that he is genuinely representative of the best that our culture has to offer, and am confident that he would make the sort of Governor General of whom we might all be proud.
The pictures are of the floods at Bicheno. 28-1456 appears courtesy of a computer virus, which I have explained to Cecile, Norton is unable to eradicate.