Thursday, May 13, 2010

Shut up and kiss me


Graeme Robertson, The Guardian


Hello young lovers, whether your tie be blue or yellow. The marriage made in Harrods' Menswear Department nearly got off to a rocky start during the wedding breakfast press conference. An impish journalist reminded the Decameron that pre-courtship, when asked what his favourite joke was, he replied 'Nick Clegg'.

'Did you really say that?' asked the incredulous bride.

'I'm afraid I did, old chap,' came the sheepish reply.

But he was just pulling his beloved's Clegg, obviously.

Here at Seat of Pants, we have been trying to get our heads around Australian politics, which appears to us to be largely an Afghan rug of managerial metaphors. We have ascertained that quite a lot of tidying gets done as things are constantly being 'put in place'. We have also established that there are two kinds of activity in government. There is doing nothing which is called 'business as usual', and there is doing a different kind of nothing which is called 'a game-changer'.

Barney has ceased his oil explorations due to the threat of a 'great big new' supertax on resources. It is nice to have the kitchen to myself again. We can tell the tax is a good idea because all the rich people are complaining. The cost of smoking has also gone up. That again is good news. Anything that dampens the question Why's enthusiasm for spontaneous combustion can only be beneficial.

One thing we're not all that happy about is that dental treatment has been left out again. There is some free dental care in Australia but you have to live in a city where there is a dental hospital and you have to wait years for an appointment. The Pants choppers are in reasonably good nick, thanks largely to excellent British NHS free treatment. But teeth do tend to deteriorate as one gets older no matter how well you look after them. If you have an abscess on any other part of your body, it's a medical matter and eligible for free hospital treatment but if it happens to occur in your mouth, it's a dentist, provided you can get in to see one, and several thousand dollars in fees.

In Australia you can get a free lapband operation. In fact they are very popular for treating teenage obesity. Australian authorities are very worried about teenage obesity. It doesn't square with the national sporting image at all. Whereas we at Seat of Pants feel sorry for young people whose interests are confined to junk food and sitting down, we would point out that obesity is a choice and it is possible to reverse it by making a different choice. We don't wish to make light of the difficulty involved. The Pants girth is not without a tendency to drift into squeezy territory - we do love our pasta. One can resolve this situation with a little self-restraint. No equivalent personal effort will have the same impact on a bad tooth.

Although the ménage à trois here at Seat of Pants is not without its fiery moments, we very much doubt we will need to resort to family counselling. Just as well as free family therapy has just been cut. This is unfortunate indeed as Larrikin's End, being at the dodgier fringe of the socio-economic demographic, has an over-abundance of feuding families. Never one to overlook a business opportunity, Barney has vowed to plug the gaps by offering a free advice session with every jug of margaritas at his Goblet of Fire vodka bars. Cheers Barney, that should help a lot. He gets his capacity for community enterprise from me. I couldn't be more proud.

If the Decameron and Foghorn Clegghorn should visit Australia together, and there's no reason to think they wouldn't as they appear to be joined at the bespoke trouser seam, we hope they bring their own relationship advisors as we don't think marriage guidance is covered on travel insurance. We wish them all the happiness the Carlton Club can provide, obviously but Barney would just like to say that if things should go the way of the pear, he'll be standing by with a jug of margaritas and a sympathetic ear.