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Thankfully we got rid of most forms of censorship in Australia, but that does not give adults the right to behave in a manner which is prejudicial to maintaining an environment of innocence for our children.  
Warning;   This story necessarily contains one tasteless sexual reference.


Wicked Campervans began operating in Cairns a long time ago hiring affordable wheels, primarily to young backpackers. For many years I was wholesomely entertained by the passing parade of witty slogans and eye-catching paintings on their vans. Proclamations such as “A baby ate my dingo” and “Virginity is curable” still make me smile.

In recent times the slogans have became increasingly crude, sexist and misogynous accompanied by sexually explicit illustrations. I will spare you the worst of them which graphically demean women and sexuality. We’re not talking bumper stickers here…..this is stuff most people can read from 50 paces, and myopic GOF from ten.

The proprietors of Wicked have been thumbing their noses at complaints from locals, and authorities failed to intervene as it seems motor vehicles are exempt from scrutiny or regulation under any Australian public decency or advertising standards legislation.

It required a courageous eleven year old girl from interstate to stop the rot. She was offended by the prominent tailboard slogan “In any princess there is a little slut who wants to try it just once” and initiated a media campaign which received a tidal wave of support from around the nation.

The company has now been forced to back down and apologise and begin the huge task of erasing offensive material from dozens of their vans.

I am left wondering why all the responsible adults sat on their hands while Wicked sped so far out of control leaving one little girl to deploy the metaphorical spike mat which finally brought the vulgarity to a halt.


Mr Osborne’s new testament

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True story from ABC News





Matthew Mark Luke John Osborne, a British tourist, was recently arraigned in Cairns on charges of stealing a $250,000 Argyle pink diamond. There is a possibility that he’d swallowed it at some stage for safe-keeping whilst decamping from the scene of the crime, but investigating detectives were too late to intercept the passage of the precious rock.  Only M M L J O knows where it is now.

I have questions;

1.   Would the diamond have lost value in transit due to diminished lustre and glitter?

2.   Would it have gained value because of it’s celebrity and unique provenance?

3.   Would this diamond still be a girl’s best friend if it were slipped on her finger in the form of an engagement ring?

4.   Would she ever lick melted ice-cream off her ring finger.

5.   Did Mr and Mrs Osborne impose an unreasonable burden of saintly expectation on their boy-child by naming him Matthew Mark Luke John?

6.   Would he have lived a more law-abiding life if he’d been baptised   Titus Philemon Thessalonian Revelation Osborne instead?

7.   Why didn’t they name him John Paul George Ringo Osborne?


So many questions. So few answers.




The Flintstones Investigation

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(Any similarity to what is occurring with the Cairns City Place is purely intentional)

Bedrock City Place before they dug it up.

Bedrock City Place before they dug it up.

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Silurian, Magma, GOF & Curtis.
Construction, archaeological and engineering investigators.

7th April 2014.


Mrs Elizabeth Rubble,
c/- Post Office

Dear Betty,
We are in receipt of your recent slate requesting an investigation into why the Bedrock City Council is taking so long to destroy your serene City Place and open it up again to cars, trucks and sauropod dinosaurs. We are appalled that 200 small businesses on Lake Street such as your Bamm-Bamm’s Boutique Babywear shop have been barricaded off from customers for several months and as a result are facing bankruptcy.

We initially sought an independent professional opinion from the Chairman of the Australian Civil Works and Engineering Guild, Sir Moses Gantry on why the project is taking an entire year to complete. He said “The Council is an unrepresentative mob of empire-building wankers who have over-engineered this project to buggery and if they’d contracted the job out to some Chinese outfit instead of overpaid Australian bureaucrats with all their bloody workplace health and safety bullshit the whole frigging job would have been finished in seven days flat.”

We consider this statement by Sir Moses, whilst substantially correct, to be inflammatory and offensive so we sent our own Mr GOF, an experienced undercover agent to investigate. He left behind the company Mercedes and replaced his Julius Marlowe shoes with Dunlop KT26 rubber soles, then disguised himself as a bearded old country yokel before visiting a City Place cafe to conduct clandestine sleuthing and surveillance operations.

This company has a policy of circumspection when it comes to the presentation of reports but we are nevertheless now in a position to reveal why this project will take donkey’s years to complete.
The following video evidence collected during last Tuesday’s frenetic construction phase would suggest that work practices on-site are probably not achieving the highest levels of efficiency and urgency which you should reasonably expect from the Bedrock City Council.

Please accept these findings with our compliments.

Yours Faithfully,


Clay Silurian
Senior Partner



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‘Straylia Day 2014

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In a rare moment of illogical impetuosity, I recently moseyed off down the mountain with Mrs GOF to check out the Australia Day family fiesta being held along the magnificently picturesque Cairns Esplanade.  No politicians. No speeches. Just lots of free entertainment, frivolity and fun in the sun.

I’d never been to an official Australia Day celebration before. 
The previous 60-odd during my lifetime seem to have vanished unnoticed as innocent victims of my social and nationalistic inertia.   I do however seem to recall that in 1972 one of ’em clashed with the United Nations World Scentless Skunk Day so I chose instead to show solidarity for this downtrodden minority by waving my “Odorless skunks need love too” placard and letting off smells in public places to draw attention to my ’cause’.

Whilst I remain quite fiercely proud of my country and it’s achievements I am not an aficianado of earnest patriotic displays and flag-waving. History warns me that such events can sometimes grow into sabre-rattling exhibitions of military might, platforms for political and religious zealots, or just excuses for xenophobic dimwits to drum up support for their ignorance and narrow-mindedness.

Which reminds me;  Some years ago when they apparently had nothing better to do, a few lunatic politicians proposed legislating against the wearing of clothes depicting images of our national flag.  Included below is my little pictorial tribute to people-power, democracy and the victory of common sense over dictatorial stupidity.

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snake 1


Combo 1

combo 2

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What the World did on New Year’s eve.

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It came to Cairns, Far North Queensland, Australia.

I know this because I was there when it happened.  Minding my own business sitting on the Esplanade lawn trying to stay awake long enough to see the 9pm fireworks display for kiddies when, like a dung beetle attracted to a cowpat, the World suddenly arrived and engulfed me.

First to turn up was Europe. For those of you who are unaware, Europe consists mainly of sunburnt inebriated Englishmen, Swiss yodelers, Russian ballet dancers and some very large German and Nordic backpackers who look like they could be quite useful on my farm if only I could lassoo a couple of ’em.
Europe is good. I don’t mind Europe.

Next came America. There are three kinds of people in America.  Preachers and missionaries, (of one persuasion or another)  rich cruise-tourists wearing white cargo pants and camera necklaces, and nine-foot tall black basketballers. These dudes can easily be distinguished in Australia by the attendant swarms of post-pubescent Aussie girls gesticulating and tittering with their most recently acquired assets.  I like America too….apart from the preachers and missionaries.

Then came Asia……except for Mrs Chiang from Foochow in Fukien Province in China who changed her mind at the last minute and stayed home because her gallstones were playing up something terrible. I like Asia too, but there’s just too much of it.  Since it moved to Cairns last Tuesday I keep worrying about the vacuum it must have left in the northern hemisphere and what’s going to fill it.

It was a relief that New Zealand didn’t come too. It didn’t need to. It has Mother Nature’s own pyrotechnics with bonus geysers and plopping mud, and the amplified punk rock music being played on the Cairns Esplanade had probably reduced to a less ear-shattering decibellage by the time it had traveled across the Tasman Sea. So New Zealand was head-bangingly heppy and in it’s own fustive mood on new year’s eve…..except for one person.

Dairy farmer Mr Quentin Barlamb, purveyor of blackberry flavoured organic yoghurt and other fine cultured milk products was not amused.  He of course only allowed his cows to listen to Bach Preludes, and the punk rock cacophony arriving from across the waves caused the milk to curdle and go rancid in the cows udders before he could extract it early on new year’s day. It was not a good start to 2014 for Farmer Barlamb.

So there you have it.  The World came.  Now I wish it would just bugger off back to where it came from. If it doesn’t go away I’ll just have to move in with Mrs Chiang in my pursuit of tranquillity ……..and a half-decent sweet and sour chicken.  We’ll also have another New Year to celebrate in just a few weeks time.  Just the two of us.  Nice.
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PS….. I shimmied up a flagpole to get the following pictures of the fireworks for you. You’re very welcome. 


The Summer of my Discontent.

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Normally on Christmas Day Mrs GOF cheerfully decorates, cooks, drinks more red wine than is strictly required to reap any health benefits, and entertains the neighbours, whilst I play my usual role as a joyless yuletide yoke around her neck.

This year I was so deficient in wives upon which to inflict this misery, and so sick of living on Weetbix, that I carted my dismal countenance off down the mountain range to Cairns to see if I could at least find some personal happiness by casting a shadow of gloom over some unsuspecting strangers and foreign tourists who hitherto had been enjoying their day on the Esplanade.

Here are some highlights of my day;

Obstructing pedestrians on the boardwalk along Trinity Inlet.

Obstructing pedestrians on the boardwalk along Trinity Inlet.

Threatened to seriously thump some younguns at BoxinFun

Threatened to seriously thump some younguns at BoxinFun

Hijacked a buggy and terrorised a group of senior citizens at the Marina.

Hijacked a buggy and terrorised a group of senior citizens at the Marina.

Canceled swimming intentions after being mobbed by young women as soon as they saw me in my Speedos.

Canceled swimming intentions after being mobbed by young women as soon as they saw me in my Speedos.

Being escorted from the helipad after offering to fly the next group of tourists out to the reef.

Being escorted from the helipad after offering to fly the next group of tourists out to the reef.

Inhaled some refreshing Eau de Greasetrap wafting over the mudflats on the south-easterly breeze.

Inhaled some refreshing Eau de Greasetrap wafting over the mudflats on the south-easterly breeze.

Police confiscated my slingshot at Cairns Library.

Police confiscated my slingshot at Cairns Library.

Found great amusement at people who had left cars parked beneath the fruit bat colony.

Found great amusement at people who had left cars parked beneath the fruit bat colony.

ROFL (Rolling on the footpath laughing) at some tourist's windscreen. (Very happy GOF) :-)

ROFL (Rolling on the footpath laughing) at some tourist’s windscreen. (Very happy GOF) 🙂

Extreme disappointment when told that tours of Honey were unavailable on Christmas Day.

Extreme disappointment when told that tours of Honey were unavailable on Christmas Day.

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GOF’s Guide to Law Enforcement

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A blueprint for the future, proudly produced by GOF as a service to the community.

Chapter One.


Dear Mr GOF,

I acknowledge receipt of your letter of the 2nd instant, and return herewith the photograph of your combine harvester as requested.

I agree with your impassioned declaration that the city of Cairns has an endemic culture of pedestrians ignoring illuminated “Don’t Walk” signs as well as hordes of foreign workers who persist in riding bicycles the wrong direction down traffic lanes.

Whilst I can to some extent understand your frustration as an out-of-town motorist Mr GOF, at this time I am unable to accept or condone your kind offer to “get rid of all these lawbreaking bastards once and for all.”

We feel that a public education policy is the most sensible approach towards dealing with this problem.  Your proposal is draconian to say the least, and your offer to personally carry it out free-of-charge as a community service does not make it any more attractive or acceptable.

Please be warned that the moment your “recently modified  souped-up pedestrian harvester with side-mounted bicycle scoop and compactor” enters a public thoroughfare you will immediately be arrested and charged under Section 23 of the Traffic Act.

Your assertion that   “it would only take one or two binsful of mangled jaywalkers and bikes to deter any future lawbreakers”  whilst probably being substantially correct is nevertheless repulsive and unacceptable from either a legal or civil libertarian point of view.

In light of your sporadic criminal behaviour over recent years Mr GOF, please be assured that my Officers will be keeping a very close eye on all your future activities.

Yours Faithfully,

Archibald Xavier Plod

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Dear Commissioner Plod,

It is with extreme regret that I note you are unable to accept my original proposal to rid Cairns of it’s pedestrian scourge at this point in time.

I understand that sometimes your staff are unable to enforce the relevant pedestrian laws because they are tied up investigating lots of other little things like murder, and robbery with violence, so I have designed an automatic system to deliver these jaywalkers directly to your office.

Please find alternative “Jaywalker Harvesting System” (patent pending)  attached.

In anticipation of your valued reply and subsequent approval.

Your civic minded servant,


Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge, and enter the draw to win my Complete Spring Loft Collection comprising twenty desiccated Uromys caudimaculatus. (may contain traces of warfarin)

Whatever happened to all the little shops?

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Sometime during the latter half of the last century Australia decided that everything in the United States of America was worthy of adoration and worship and accordingly needed to be promptly replicated here without modification.
(with the possible exception of Richard Nixon)

Not their fault.  Our choice.

My regional town of Cairns in the 1970’s was typical of many country towns.  Population less than 100,000 with a central business precinct encompassing half a dozen prime-location city blocks.

Apart from the two competing supermarkets and some Australian owned department stores, the majority of commercial premises were as individual and unique as the people who owned and operated them.

Five “arcades”, pedestrian thoroughfares linking city streets, were each lined with up to 50 tiny shops crammed full of everything from fresh home cooked food to antiquarian books, and genuine handmade artifacts from all around the world.

Aromas and fragrances would remind you of other destinations;
nasi goreng from Indonesia, or incense candles, cardamom and cinnamon from the sub-continent.
The sound of pan flutes being played by busking musicians wearing colourful traditional clothing brought a little piece of the Andes to Cairns, in stark contrast to the didgeridoo being “didyontheoinked” at the other end of the arcade.

This vibrant city heart died soon after suburban Shopping Malls were opened  1, 4, 7 and 18 kilometres away.

The arcades today are spooky vacant places full of “For Rent” signs.

The heart of my town has been ripped out.

Cairns folk have chosen to practise their commercial worship in the four airconditioned temples full of artificiality and fakeness.

One of them has two supermarkets deceitfully masquerading as “competition” when in fact they are owned by the same parent Company.
They all house identical International franchise shops, assembly line “food” outlets, and mass produced goods, 90% of which come from China.

The only things I can smell in these places are disinfectants,
rancid fat and garlic used to cook the food which has been on greasy glistening display behind glass for 6 hours, and Gloria Jean’s coffee aroma, blended in barista-like precision with all the exhaust fumes being sucked in from the 3 levels of carparking.

It is like entering some sort of overcrowded human chook shed at feeding time. A deafening sound of people squarking as they trample each other half to death in the greedy scramble to get yet another Mcnugget into their beaks, or latch their claws onto some discounted feather grooming product, comb polish or spray can of cloaca depilatory foam.

Above all this, I can sometimes hear the obligatory distorted soundtrack of music which is being piped simultaneously into 100 shopping centres Australia wide, interrupted only by occasional announcements to owners of vehicles to “please return to your car because you left your lights on.”

Despite all this, I understand why we all use shopping centres.

Convenience, airconditioning and adjacent car parking, but I can’t help but think that in our haste to live the “easy life” we lost something important along the way.

Perhaps not forever?

As Australia turns increasingly to the East and accepts perhaps a little grudgingly the inevitable “Asianisation” of our population, maybe the old bazaars and arcades of Cairns will one day witness a resurgence which will return a pulse to the city centre.

There might even be room for both forms of commercial enterprise to co-exist.

When it happens, my spirit will look down upon it all and be mightily pleased.