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The kus. (a linguistic snotfest)

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In a country where more than 700 languages are spoken, Melanesian tok pisin is one of the three official languages of Papua New Guinea. The other two are English and Hiri Motu.  Tok pisin is a colourful language which is often used in Parliamentary debates and some of it’s words deserve wider promulgation.

kus   (‘u’ pronounced as in ‘bush’) = cough or respiratory infection characterised by wheezing, elevated temperature and nasal discharge.

There are two common varieties of kus and a third closely-related virus which, according to my medical research, usually kills people stone motherless dead.

1. Liklik kus.  Literally ‘little kus’ which is the common cold.

2. Bikpela kus. The ‘big kus’ or influenza.

3. Draipela mama bilong kus.  The unbelievable mother of all kuses.
There is only one person on the planet who gets this rare strain of kus and lives to tell the tale. Me. It’s an infection of such severity that only a human specimen of extraordinary constitutional robustness could ever survive it’s pathological virulence.
I call it the F*B* Kus.  Loudly. Angrily. Repeatedly. I croakily curse the cosmos for the injustice of infecting a clean-living organism like myself with such a debilitating scourge.

Fortunately there are cures for all three kinds of kus;

1.  Cure for Liklik Kus
One of these daily, plus seven days rest.


2.  Cure for Bikpela Kus
One of each of these daily, plus seven days rest.


3.  Cure for F*B*Kus
This lot in it’s entirety, plus seven days rest.
Please consult your medical practitioner before overdosing on vitamins and mixing alcohol with the medication.


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I’m up to Day 4. Donations of bottled medication will be gratefully accepted in lieu of sympathy.
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Protected: A depressing journey beyond blue

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The Piles Foundation

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Warning;   Contains childish themes. Guidance from a juvenile recommended.

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The Bucket’s name is synonymous with philanthropic support of medical research around the world.  Most notably, in this digital age, it is the primary benefactor for toe and finger nail wedge resection survivors.

Today many diseases both real and imagined are represented by empire building friends of pharmaceutical multinationals  charitable organisations, and here at The Bucket we feel it is incumbent upon us to fill one of the few remaining vacancies.  Haemorrhoids.

THE PILES FOUNDATION could not have been established without the compassion, wisdom, legal expertise and personal experience of Mr. Trevor Fulcrum Q.C., Senior Partner in the firm Smirnoff, Fulcrum and Gof.

The name of the Foundation was specifically selected to snare a percentage of ambiguous and/or inaccurately addressed financial transactions of;

(a)  The Local Authority of Piles, Valencia, in Spain.

(b)  The Estate of General Sir Frederick Pile, GCB, DSO, MC 1884-1976 Commander of anti-aircraft attacks in Britain during WW2.

(c)  International Shag Carpet Makers Association.

(d)  Pile Data Division of the Mathematicians Collective.

(e)  The Museum of Graphite Pile Nuclear Reactors.

Whilst our primary funding source will be from these misappropriated  innovatively procured monies we will also be selling inspirational tee shirts to foment a formidable and stubborn global movement which will demand the

Piles tee shirt

Please phone 1800 PUSHITGOOD during the next ten minutes to secure your collectors item tee shirt, personally worn, signed, strained and winced over by an actual piles sufferer, for the special price of just $49.99.

(plus $107.95 postage and handling)

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Unto GOF a grandchild is born.

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There are occasions when even the most obstinate deeply-rooted cynic can be moved.

In more ways than one.

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1. The Bucket is littered with my thankfulness for having been born in a developed, functional and democratic country.

2. From personal involvement at the time, and much retrospective evaluation since, I believe that Australia’s benevolent colonial administration of Papua New Guinea was exemplary.
It literally brought stone-age people into the modern jet age within just a few decades.

One legacy of this focussed development effort was the provision of world-class hospitals in all major provincial towns.

Papua New Guinea became an Independent Nation in 1975.
It was a vibrant functional country with the potential to become the jewel amongst South Pacific nations.

The ineptitude and corruption of politicians and administrative leaders since Independence has resulted in PNG being reduced to a dysfunctional lawless State in 2012.

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The story;

Two weeks ago my daughter-in-law gave birth to little GOG (grandson of GOF) in PNG’s capital city, Port Moresby.

The public health system had failed to identify that the cause of her agonizing enduring pain was the 4 kg unborn child which was 4-weeks-post-term.  In desperation my son took her to a private doctor, who, just 45 minutes later performed an emergency caesarian to deliver GOG.

The distressed infant, having ingested amniotic fluid, was unable to breathe unassisted and had to be sent back to the crowded public hospital premature-baby ward for ‘care’.

During the following 5 days the hospital  ‘ran out’ of oxygen on several occasions leaving GOG blue and at potential risk of brain damage and death.

Fortunately my son’s employer, a large influential company, had health insurance for it’s management staff, and a medivac Lear Jet was dispatched on a 6-hour return flight from Brisbane to Port Moresby, complete with a doctor and 2 nurses.

Little GOG is now being pampered at one of Australia’s best children’s hospitals. He is in an isolation intensive-care room hooked up to all manner of machines and monitors and attended 24 hours each day by a nurse. Every minute of every day there is a nurse watching over him. In effect his own private nurse.

I have just returned from spending 3 days with the little bugger at his bedside along with his Mum and Dad.

This old cynic has been deeply moved by the experience.

I watched as GOG’s oxygen dependency gradually reduced from 80% machine-supplied to 27% at which point the intrusive and painful tubes were removed (along with morphine dosage) and within an hour he changed from purple to normal baby-colour.

One day later, he gurgled and smiled and began to chat about how lucky he was to be alive.  He should also be proud that at the age of 6 days he had his own passport, complete with photograph showing all of the tubes stuck down his nose and throat.

GOG is still not out of the woods and will require weeks of hospitalisation and further tests for brain functionality.

I am gobsmacked by the capabilities, efficiency and competence of Australia’s health-care system.

Never in my life have I witnessed the sort of selfless commitment, compassion and devotion shown by the nurses who patiently work 12-hour shifts just to ensure one little human’s chance at life is not extinguished.

I am in awe of my daughter-in-law who, just days after a major operation, waddled across the tarmac to get onto a commercial flight to join her baby in Brisbane, and never once complained (at least not to me) about her own pain and discomfort.
One day she might even forgive me for being a link in the GOF-family genetic chain which caused GOG to be born ‘hairy with gangly legs and long toes.”

I also have a son who will obviously be a much better Dad to his children than I ever was.

It is a time for counting blessings, and this week I have many.

But it is also appropriate for me to spare some thought for all the parents in PNG and around the world who will never have access to Lear Jets and medical care for their sick babies.

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P.S.  If the medical information and terminology above does not make any sense, it may well be because I haven’t the slightest clue what I am talking about.

Smokescreens of hypocrisy

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In Parliament yesterday the Dishonorable Member for the Seat of Bilgebucket made his first policy speech after being elevated to the position of Minister for Health.

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Mr Speaker, I intend today to address two related issues which come within the responsibility of my portfolio.

Firstly the matter of multinational tobacco companies.

As you know, this government is legislating the compulsory
plain-packaging of cigarettes.

Tobacco companies have responded with aggressive advertising campaigns opposing these laws.

It beggars belief that they are suddenly claiming to be worried about the reduced amounts of tobacco excise tax that the Government will receive under the new laws.
They are, I suspect, having great difficulty confronting their own imminent and overdue mortality.

Tobacco companies are surplus to the requirements of Australia in the twenty-first century.

The initiatives that I am about to announce today will permanently remove these companies from Australia’s commercial landscape unless they accept the lifeline that I will throw to them at the end of this address to the House.

I also acknowledge that the Government must cease all pretence of occupying any sort of moral high ground in the light of all the revenue it has previously welcomed from tobacco sales.

All that is going to come to an end.


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Australia has one of the most generous free health care systems in the world Mr Speaker. It will, however, become financially unsustainable beyond the year 2020 in it’s present format, partially because patients are taking the system for granted and not assuming adequate responsibility for their own health in terms of lifestyle choices.

The following initiatives are in no way intended as a personal attack on those Members in this House or Australians who have made the individual choice to smoke tobacco.
Indeed, part of this new Act will put a smile on their faces, as it supports the right of individuals to smoke within their own airspace at an affordable price.

Effective today, the growing of tobacco plants will be deregulated and decriminalised and the unfettered trade of tobacco products will be permitted free of all excise charges and Government taxes with the exception of the 10% GST.

Unfortunately Mr Speaker, this new freedom will be counter-balanced by new responsibilities.

In order to reduce the unnecessary burden that smoking-related illnesses impose upon Australia’s taxpayer-funded health system, all smokers seeking treatment at public health facilities will be sent to the back of the queue unless they have been paying the appropriate taxation surcharge under the “Schedule of Personal Mischief.”

Inebriates suffering alcohol-induced trauma will also be sent there after being temporarily bandaged-up to staunch the unsightly flow of blood onto emergency room floors, unless they too have been paying the even higher surcharge applicable to them because of the increased likelihood that they will cause physical harm to other people.

Getting a skinfull of booze and drugs on weekends is NOT Australia’s National Sport, Mr Speaker, and being sewn-up and put together again by our overworked and frequently abused ambulance officers, doctors and nurses will no longer be tolerated as an automatic right of citizenship to be paid for by taxpayers.

Emergency treatment “at cost” will continue to be available from Private Hospitals and medical centres, for those who are either unwilling to modify their own behaviour or pre-pay the applicable surcharges.

And finally, a lifeline for tobacco companies.

My Government will give them preferential consideration if they wish to immediately redirect the focus of their commercial activities to building and operating private hospitals and health clinics.

It is forecast that patient demand for these services will rapidly escalate as all the unrestricted freeloading is phased out of public health facilities, thus ensuring lucrative financial returns for investors in private medical facilities.

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At a hastily convened press conference later in the day the Minister was asked about the probability of his now being nominated for several Benevolence and Humanity Awards next Australia Day.  

He emphatically stated that “I have no interest in awards and will of course refuse to accept them on the grounds of humility.”

Later that evening after having been feted for several hours by Ministerial colleagues at the Parliamentary Press Club Bar this statement was amended to;  
I will refhuuuse to accept intercoursh awards on the hulimity grounds.”

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Just over a decade ago multinational tobacco companies decided to increase their profits by choosing to buy imported ingredients instead of Australian-grown leaf.
Mareeba was once the tobacco-growing capital of Australia.
Here are some reminders of an industry which no longer exists.

Tobacco kiln 1932-2002

Tobacco curing barn 1932-2002

International Harvester tobacco planting tractor 1952-2002

Now…..where did I put that Application Form.

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There is an old newspaper editor’s maxim which goes something like this;

“News” is whatever makes your Grandma say “Good gracious”.

Well here’s a little bit of news for Gran;

There is a man currently employed by the Sydney Adventist Hospital as;  “Director of Penile Rehabilitation”

Now I am sure that the incumbent does an exemplary job trying his best to get men back to peak performance and glowing good health following prostate surgery, but to really do justice to the somewhat vague job title I feel that he should have an “Assistant Director”  to expand the services on offer.

According to my dictionary;

rehabilitation           ……….to help readapt to society,
……….to restore the good reputation

Australia needs me to help my overworked compatriot, because our country is awash with penises requiring restoration of reputation.

(As time is running out for my fifteen minutes of fame, I desperately need this job. It may be my final opportunity.  It’s either this, or I’ll have to ride a penny farthing bicycle whilst stark naked across Sydney Harbour Bridge during peak hour traffic.  I need to do something soon, so that Mrs GOF and Globet can at least point to a single moment of my glory after I’m gone.)

Almost daily our newspapers print sordid stories of sportsmen and celebrities losing their penile good reputation.

This however is only the tip of the disreputable penis iceberg.

It is an International problem. There seems to be an awful lot of it going on all over the place.

As Assistant Director, I will urge our Government and the World Health Organisation to increase their vigilance of this plague of penile deliquency which is sweeping around the globe like an uncontrollable Mexican wave.

My first task will be to have the condition officially recognised by the World Health Organisation.

Errant Penile Syndrome.    E.P.S.

Exhaustive independent research conducted by the Chief Medical Reporter at The Bucket indicates that a whopping 98.5% of Australian adult males have suffered from either E.P.S or  W.E.P.S (Wishful Errant Penile Syndrome) on at least one occasion.

The main thrust of my work during the first 12 months in office will be to ensure that those men currently suffering from W.E.P.S are adequately counselled, medicated, or inflicted with sufficient early-intervention corporal punishment to ensure that they don’t go on to develop the more serious form of the disease.

Get weaving Ceba-Geigy, we’re talking big bucks up for grabs here for medication.
You’ve done this sort of thing before…..don’t go all shy on me now.

Unfortunately for a small percentage of chronic E.P.S. sufferers, effective treatment will require radical surgery.

I’m looking forward to my new job.

I might even get to meet Tiger Woods.

Healthy sarcasm

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The well-intentioned (and rather attractive) presenters on the television science program “Catalyst”  recently spent half an hour giving birth to this ill-conceived issue of dubious parentage;

“When old people STOP taking ALL their daily between 5 and 20 prescription medications they begin to feel healthy again.”

Now who would’ve thunk it.  Considering one of those “medicines” was probably Warfarin (rat bait) and God knows (or perhaps She is equally bewildered) what other toxic chemicals were contained in the colourful geriatric pill cocktails.

It is high time that these brilliant researchers stopped whispering sweet nothings to us from the back row of the arena, and instead donned their medical matador gear to do some serious fighting inside the bullring.

The beast they should be confronting is this;

For the majority of people, if they simply stopped spending their entire lives overloading and polluting their bodies with fat, sugar, salt, nicotine, excess protein, food additives and drugs (legal or otherwise) then collectively got off their arses to exercise daily, they would not need to visit the peddlers of toxic pharmaceuticals nearly as often in later life, or live their final years nibbling away at rat bait.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need a large portion of black forest cake topped with whipped cream.

All this self-righteous proselytising is making me hungry…..and giving me a headache……but nothing compared to the intensity of the one facing health educators as they attack their single greatest challenge of the twenty-first century.

A sluggish rush of blood

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Occasionally I manage to see eye to eye with doctors.
Mainly when one of THEM is gouging some foreign object out of one of MINE.

Doctor’s eyes appear like a pair of intergalactic flying saucers when viewed from my side of a surgical magnifying glass.
Through these portals you can see all the way into their generous, caring, modest, sensitive souls.


Astute readers will notice that normally, when an opportunity like this presents, GOF’s little story would be embellished with a surplus of gratuitous and totally unnecessary sarcasm. …….well, I would like to proudly announce that I’ve just successfully completed a course at Sarcastics Anonymous this week.

Praise the Lord.  I am reformed.


Five years ago I found a doctor who accepts my conditions of engagement, which severely limit the types of diagnostic tests he is permitted to carry out, and bans totally any digital examination in places where it has no right to be.

He is my emergency trauma repairer, and just one of several consultants in the field of my health management.

On those occasions when I had to visit him, I always requested a blood pressure check so I could feel as though I was getting a little more value for the money he expected in return.

It’s not like I felt bad about the amount he charges….I know that he desperately needed my little donation just to buy a litre or two of benzine to put into his derelict outdated 2009 model Mercedes horseless carriage so that he could go home later in the day with enough survival rations to feed his starving family and support their meagre subsistence lifestyle.

On the last appointment with Doctor Wonderful my blood pressure was 140/95 which he said was “OK……considering.
Perhaps he was “considering” the stress I was under, thinking about having to hand over the cash.

My own assessment was that both values were too high, so I decided to do some monitoring of my own with one of these nifty devices (below) before beginning a program of self-medication with aspirin like most of my neighbours, including our now famous spiritual leader Saint Martin of FOT.

So, elated with my new toy, whenever visitors arrived at GOF’s Place, the first thing I did was to slap a blood pressure meter cuff on ’em.

Good entertainment for me, but so many of them left with a dreadful fear that they might be struck down by massive coronary attacks before they had driven the 6 kilometres back up the mountain through the bush to the bitumen road where there is the medical safety net of mobile phone coverage.

The Bush Telegraph however still works well around these parts.
We don’t get many visitors anymore.

Smartarse behaviour inevitably attracts comeuppance.
Mine was in the form of consistent BP readings around 90/60.

I don’t really want to know why all the red stuff is apparently just sloshing around inside me willy-nilly without much direction from the conductor of my circulatory orchestra.

If I don’t feel broke, then I don’t need to fix me.

Does anyone want to buy a stupid sphygmomanometer?  Cheap.

Oh yes, and I might need to attend just one more S.A. meeting.

I came very close to having a relapse back there.