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A plague of enyots

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Warning;  Contains one naughty word necessary to tell the story.
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Mrs GOF’s father was caught between two worlds. Born in a remote village in New Guinea he was deprived of a formal education so he chose to relocate his young family by overland trek to Pindiu, a Government outpost where all his children could attend an English curriculum school.

He had extraordinary linguistic abilities. Speaking five languages fluently he also had a working knowledge of two more. After moving to Pindiu he started adding a few English words to his vocabulary. Most came from overhearing his kids chattering after school, or listening to the more colourful language being used by the Australian Patrol Officers for whom he worked as a labourer and translator.

He did not understand the dictionary meaning of these words and sometimes his pronunciation went awry. For example ‘idiot’ always came out as ‘enyot‘. I suspect the older siblings might have been complicit in ensuring the mispronunciations continued because they still tell funny stories about it today long after their dad has passed away.
“You enyots” was his reprimand for minor childhood transgressions, but more serious breaches elicited a bellowed “You fukkin enyots“. In his mind, these words meant simply “You naughty children”.
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For nigh on twenty years Mrs GOF and I have had a market stall selling plants at the annual Father’s Day street carnival at the Cairns Botanic Gardens. For most of this time the smooth operation of the event was a credit to Betty, a matronly volunteer who toddled around with a clipboard, pen and a welcoming smile. Life was good back then.

A few years ago the Cairns City Council took over management of the event and replaced Betty with an assortment of overpaid tertiary-educated bureaucrats who abolished common sense and progressively turned administrative stupidity into an art form.

This year, applications and communications could only be made online.
We will not be allowed to participate unless we take an entire day off from our farm work and drive four hours to Cairns to participate in a mandatory induction course to learn about the workplace health and safety implications of setting up a market tent.

It’s being conducted this morning.  Goodness gracious me we’re going to miss out.
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I refuse to enable any of these fukkin enyots to gain a foothold in my life.
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Pain in the Arse Award for 2013

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Pain in the arse
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls;
Welcome to the Universal WordPress Amphitheatre where it is my great displeasure tonight to announce the winner of The Bucket’s prestigious annual Pain In The Arse Award.

This year we are breaking new ground by giving recognition not just to a single exasperating plonker, but to an unknown number of parasitic paper-shuffling nincompoops who exhibited exceptional stupidity and ignorance, combined with a monumental lack of decency and common sense.

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Millaa Millaa is a little town in my neighbourhood with a population of 250.  It’s the sort of town which immediately brings to mind the John Denver song lyric “I spent a week there one day.”

Millaa doesn’t have much going for it these days. It’s economic boom times are long gone. The timber industry and cheese factory are both just memories residing in the minds of old-timers, and the few remaining dairy farmers are now being financially emasculated by the absurd downward-pricing policies of Australia’s supermarket duopoly.

It is a picturesque town when the weather is fine, but often it is a bleak, windswept and rain-drenched place which most travelers are more than happy to bypass in order to find somewhere more climatically hospitable.

Last year, the good folk of Millaa Millaa approached their local Council asking for a toilet to be built at the cemetery.  All that rain tends to make some old farts like me  revered community elders want to regularly dash off for a pee, even midway through funeral services, or during the interment of deceased friends.

The Council edifice eggheads  architects estimated the cost of a toilet block to be $83,000 and accordingly advised that they couldn’t afford to spend that amount of money.
Undeterred, the resourceful members of the Millaa Millaa Chamber of Commerce immediately dug deep into their own pockets, as well as the sacred cemetery soil, and built their own custom designed toilet for the princely sum of just $1300.

Millaa Millaa coffin toilet

The unique Millaa Millaa coffin-shaped toilet soon generated publicity and notoriety, and became a much-welcomed tourism drawcard for the town …….until large piles of bureaucratic and sanctimonious shit started hitting the fan of irreverent Aussie ingenuity.

In one of the most treacherous acts of administrative bastardry I have witnessed in my entire life, the Council ordered
“the immediate removal of this unauthorised structure.”

On January 25, 2013, the toilet was lifted onto the back of a truck and given a funeral service of its own through the centre of town.
Eulogies were delivered mourning the passing of common sense.

Millaa's little dunny.  Murdered by a humorless purgative pack of pathetic pen-pushers.

Millaa’s little dunny. Murdered by a humorless purgative pack of pathetic pen-pushers.

The faceless little dictators who made this decision richly deserve our 2013 Pain In The Arse Award in recognition of their managerial incompetence and the disrespectful and insensitive way that they treated the good people of Millaa Millaa, the very same people they are overpaid to serve.

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(Last year’s  Pain in the Arse Award winner here)

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Look what they done to my pump, Ma.

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The bastards put this on it.

Only once before in my life have I been angry enough to take up my ‘pointless pen’ and write a Letter to the Editor of a newspaper.
 
Way back in 1975 I attempted to bring to public attention the extent to which village smallholder coffee growers were being short-changed by the foreign-owned coffee millers in Papua New Guinea.
It did not make me a popular man amongst the perpetrators of this injustice.  Today I find myself again having to speak out, this time more selfishly about another sort of inequity.

I know not whether the following letter will make any sense to you given that the facts had to be compressed into fewer than 200 words.
Nor do I know or care much whether it will be published. We live too far out of town to get newspapers and just writing the letter has been a sufficiently therapeutic exercise for me.

Now I need to get on with my life. I refuse to allow the bureaucracy to spoil the dream which is GOF’s Paradise, but sometimes….just sometimes, even Australia gives me the screaming shits.

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Year of the Farmer.

My walkman radio told me the other day that 2012 was the Year of the Farmer. My mouth immediately opened so wide with astonishment that my vegetable-chipping hoe handle ended up half way down my gullet.

I for one will not be celebrating.

Thirty years ago I moved to this somewhat inhospitable rural smallholding in an attempt to live a self-sufficient lifestyle. We built a small dam to provide permanent water where previously there was none, and eventually made a modest living from vegetable growing.

This year, The Year of the Farmer, the Queensland Government via the Department of Environment and Resource Management installed a water meter on our little pump to raise revenue for itself.

Even though we only use a fraction of one megalitre each year, there are annual charges of several hundred dollars payable for licences, for maintenance of the Government meter and to pay someone to travel to read the meter which serves no purpose. No purpose at all, because even if I further reduce my water consumption the flat fees and bureaucratic charges will remain the same.

I am amenable to initiatives designed to ensure the sustainability of the planet’s water resources, but these fees have nothing to do with responsible water management or encouraging me to use less.
They are simply an inequitable tax on those who can least afford it.

Any country which actively discourages primary producers deserves the fate which will ultimately and inevitably befall it.

Year of the Farmer?  I think not.

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Let’s hope the meter reader does not expect our usual country hospitality and a cup of tea when he arrives.