Monday, October 25, 2010

In a vegetative state




Every Saturday I buy The Weekend Australian newspaper. It's bilge but it's the best on offer. It has the whole week's TV in it. I don't watch the TV but it's nice to know I'm not missing anything.

It has two Sudoku puzzles which can take me several days to solve. Usually I get the 'advanced' one out before I conquer the 'easy'. Make of that what you will. Mostly I read the newspapers on-line, but the weekend seems to demand some unwieldy broadsheeting, at least in my world.

So I open up The Weekend Australian with well-honed low expectations and I find this gem,

New investigations team

The Australian's editor-in-chief Chris Mitchell and editor Paul Whittaker today announce the formation of a national investigations team to leverage the newspaper's story-breaking credentials.


'To leverage the newspaper's story-breaking credentials.' Let us stop for a minute and try to imagine the intellectual environment that might have produced such erudition. Barney is fairly sure Polish vodka was involved.

Intrigued, I read on expecting to discover that the esteemed editors have assembled a team comprising Woodward and Bernstein, Erin Brockovich and Julian Assange but were just being extremely modest about it, as is the Australian way.

But no, what Mssrs Mitchell and Whittaker are attempting to articulate is the fine detail of an office reorganisation. What they appear to be saying is that four people who already work at The Australian will be sitting together in the future.

Leading by example, Mitchell and Whittaker subject themselves to exacting self-scrutiny when defining the role of this new team,

'The Australian has a proud record of investigative journalism and we are now building on that with a dedicated team of first-rate reporters who will have a wide remit.'

Well, how reassuring is that? It's excellent to know that people who have undergone the terrible disruption of having to move desks will pretty much be able to do as they please by way of recompense.

You are wondering how I'm going to tie in the vegetables? Does the word Rupert mean anything to you?

We low-income earners for whom pension eligibility is increasingly reliant on Leprechaun connections, pan for quality bargains like movie people scout for coordinated infants to complete their rainbow families. Our local 'supermarket' (I don't know when the word supermarket came into use for a shop that's really quite small, but I don't have any other word to describe what, in Larrikin's End, passes for a shop that will stand between you and starvation provided there is not a major sporting event on).

Sorry, that diversion was so long, I think I might have to abandon it. It reminded me that in the film Up in the Air, Alex (Vera Farmiga) calls Ryan (George Clooney), 'a parenthesis' and all I can think of is this is George fuckin' Clooney. So what is her idea of concrete sentence? That man I would like to meet.

Sad to say that George was not included in the vegetable selection above, and it was no worse for it, given that I'm not eating meat these days. Sorry George.

Larrikin's End Shopahoy, (well, it is a fishing town), randomly offers shoppers the chance to grab as many fresh fruit and vegetables as they can cram into a bag for one Aussie dollar. They never advertise when they're going to do this for obvious reasons. Today I was lucky enough to be right there before all the good stuff had gone. That's two bags full above. Two dollars. The mango alone is worth that. As you're reading this, it's almost all been cooked up in sauces and soups and quiches.

Shopahoy is not my only source of glee bargaining. Larrikin's End Library regularly de-accessions books and sells on donations that don't fit their strict selection criteria (westerns, romance, fishing, golf). Today I got a book on Turner for $1 and Plum Sykes's Bergdorf Blondes for 50c.

The Weekend Australian costs $2.60. I can't eat it but I can burn it. Most of it will get pulped to keep me warm next winter.