Crikey, I'm still alive! I've been in
more strife than Steve Irwin with a bleeding
head wound at feeding time!
If you're wondering why this column has
been missing in action, well, I've been
in the wars lately (No, not that one!).
Gotten to know the inside of the public
hospital system pretty well lately. Number
one was a tickle of 240 volts when I attempted
to become the workshop's main circuit
breaker. Number two was a snake that put
the bite on me harder than the taxman
(my own stupid fault). I'm not looking
forward to number three ...
It was interesting while I was in The
Fishbowl (as the Observation Ward is known),
because I had plenty of opportunity to
eavesdrop on the Nurse's station (what
else is a bloke meant to do, there was
The medical fraternity was united in
its condemnation of Shane Warne. "He
must have been using steroids - that is
the only way to recover from injury that
quickly!" said my doctor.
Come to think of it, when I did my shoulder
in the same way, recovery took months,
not weeks. Trying to put the blame on
his mum's vanity did him no good either.
Warney, you don't still wonder why you're
not the team captain, do you?
Anyhow, I returned to Dodgy Motors (You
Bend-em, We Mend-em!) to find the war
on Iraq in full flight. The Good, The
Bad & The Ugly are still at odds over
the war, even after the fighting has stopped.
Mind you, Blondie (The Good) has gone
a bit quiet lately, now that his predictions
of doom and gloom have failed to pass.
He does feel somewhat vindicated: "The
Yanks going to look pretty silly if the
don't find any weapons (of mass destruction).
Proves it was just about the oil."
Angel Eyes (The Bad) almost seems a little
disappointed that the Iraqis didn't put
up a better fight. And he is very cheesed
off about the international media coverage
that continually failed to acknowledge
"Credit where credit's due!"
he cries, "Anyone would think that
it was just the Poms and the Septics in
this show. What about our boys?"
He wants John Howard to push the Yanks
hard on the free trade agreement. "We
deserve it after supporting them."
Tuco (The Ugly) disagrees: "Little
Johnny supported Shrub, not us. Now he's
off to Texas to get a pat on the head."
Of course, trust Tuco to find humour
in bloodshed. He's updated us daily with
quotes from media sensation Mohammed "We
are winning!" Saeed
al-Sahaf, the Iraqi Information Minister.
While the rest of us are a little sick
of the media coverage, Tuco just can't
get enough, and irritates us by turning
up the radio every time there's a news
bulletin. I'll be glad when he has something
else to bang on about.
While most of the anti-war protests created
little comment, the smoko room (peaceniks
included) was outraged by one particular
effort. Indeed I haven't seen the guys
so angry since the 'Gut Truck' once skipped
our workshop. It wasn't the schoolkid
protests, nor the Greenpeace effort with
the warship, that caused so much consternation.
They were both seen as fairly legitimate
expressions of democracy. What boiled
their billy was the NO WAR graffiti painted
on the Sydney Opera House. It wasn't the
message that upset them, had it been painted
on an office block no one would have cared.
But Laurel & Hardy up on the main
sail used paving paint (do you know how
well that sticks? - must have been a bugger
to scrub off) to attack a national icon,
and in doing so tore at the very essence
of Australia. Their little miscalculation
did a lot to damage the credibility of
the protest movement. On hearing that
one of them was a To-and-from, there was
a vigorous debate on his punishment.
"Deport him!" Blondie cried.
"No, make him scrub the graffiti
off the rail yards for six months, then
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