Friday, August 31, 2012

Kafka in Qld

It is after closing time. The customers are all off the premises, only staff remain.

At the exit from the premises, a few staff & some police chat idly, watching the the crowd disperse.

Twenty minutes elapse.

A woman approaches from out of view further along the street, reaches into her handbag and removes a bottle of liquor and takes a swig.

A police officer writes her a ticket for drinking in public. He seizes then destroys the alcohol.

The police officer then walks over to the nearest member of Wayside Tavern staff, and with the words "I'm sorry mate, but I have to do this" writes the staff member a ticket for $600 for "Allowing liquor to be removed from the premises after hours."

The staff member is struck dumb, he's spent the past 20 minutes chatting to the police officer. In that time they haven't seen this woman, she's just walked along the street from somewhere else.

All of this is supported by the Wayside Tavern CCTV.

The staff member has a choice:
1/. Pay the $600 personally, or
2/. Challenge the fine in court, at a cost of say $5,000. (If he wins he will be unable to claim any costs.)

This is not a typical example of what can happen to individuals under the provisions of the Queensland Liquor Act.

It is an actual example.

This type of thing happens several times every year.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Billy Goat Gene

A challenge for anyone who fancies putting together a really complex venn diagram:

Make one of which elected ALP politicians have rooted which other ones. A very large sub-group would be those who have walked out on a spouse in favour of rooting a fellow elected ALP parliamentarian.

The urge to seemingly root anything that moves, without regard to any sense of propriety, seems to be limited to that one political party. (The sub-group of elected ALP parliamentarians who have been convicted of having sexual intercourse with children won't be the smallest group in the venn diagram project - just saying)

Wonder what causes it? And why no other party has the same scale of compulsion the ALP does?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Cops are Fair

Scene: Regular meeting between liquor licencees & police, to discuss bad behaviour by the general public.

Dominant comment by officer in charge of police:
"The town will get out of hand unless we stop bad behaviour, and stop it now! I want to see you licencees showing "zero tolerance" for bad behaviour. Don't allow any bad behaviour. From now on police will not be tolerating bad behaviour from anyone!"

The officer in charge then swivels his head, giving all of us the "fish-eye" stare that afflicts cops. He is implying that we publicans are soft on bad behaviour, with resulting flow-on effect giving the town a public disorder problem.

**** ****** *****

Three days later:

Scene: Telephone call to the police station.

Mine Host: "Someone's just come past on the street and smashed a security grill and a window.
The whole event was captured by our street cameras, it is brilliant footage and very clearly shows who he is. We'll make a copy of the CCTV & bring it over to you so he can be charged!"

Police: "Er.... this happened tonight? ..... He's gone home now?.....Um... are you making an insurance claim?...... You're not?..... Er... then do you really need to bring us a copy of your CCTV?..... This sort of thing happens all the time... It is no big deal... It is only a smashed window... ....What do you want us to do about this?.... "

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Channel 10 - Back on the Air!

A couple of weeks ago TV station Channel 10 commenced broadcasting for the first time since sometime in March (a break of about 5 months.)

... or so it would seem to anyone frequenting the Wayside Tavern!

In March Channel 10 was tuned out of every television set at the Wayside Tavern (all 110 of 'em) This isn't difficult, just one tweak at the master control.

For in March the host & hostess of a mid-morning TV show on Channel 10 made belittling & nasty comments about a Victoria Cross recipient.

These comments were made on air.

Channel 10 is free to air what they wish.
Mine Host is free to boycott any channel he wishes. And so he did.

A couple of weeks ago the airhead themed morning TV show was cancelled.
Thus Channel 10 is now back on the air at the Wayside Tavern!

In public circumstances (such as a TV appearance) a VC recipient is representative of all who have served, and of all who fell.

To publicly denigrate, belittle, and show disdain to a VC recipient, (going about quiet enjoyment of his life) is extremely offensive.

One of the two philistines, George Negus, is an experienced foreign correspondent & television journalist, with decades of reporting behind him.

He knew better. He has no excuse. He deserves to be shunned from polite society. That is, whenever he appears in public, or private, all should turn their backs to him. (Similar to when military cadets "shun" one of their own for a breach of honour).

The hostess, lacking Negus' worldly experience & perhaps not as capable of meeting the challenge of understanding the discretions & norms of wider society, still should have known better.

Confronted with community & viewer ire (on a grand scale) and with sponsors withdrawing cash from the programme, they each gave a Claytons apology.

They then went on to make some incredibly stupid statements. All of which indicated a total & complete tin ear for the sentiments of decent society. Example: They claimed to be "anti-war", as if that implies a free pass to insult & sneer at the memory of war dead.

Columnist Andrew Bolt (a Channel 10 presenter, whose own show hasn't been seen at the Wayside Tavern during Channel 10's blackout) made possibly the stupidist excuse for them Mine Host has ever read:

Mr. Bolt, who is himself apt to make contentious comments at times, but always conducts himself as a gentleman, does himself no credit by saying that morning TV is a difficult gig, and saying nasty stuff is okay, as it can be "very difficult to think of things to say to fill the hour".

Bunkum! When faced with air time to fill, one is not compelled to say horribly nasty things about people.

The remarks in question were not said in isolation. The hostess, whose media career has rightly disappeared *poof*, did not just suddenly decide out of the blue to say nasty stuff about a national hero.

This sort of comment is built up over time. It was something she was comfortable saying.

In all the months (before spontaneously airing it) the remark was germinating in her psyche, at all the gatherings it (or similar) was aired, to all the people in her social & work circles who conversed with her, not one of them had seen fit to pull her up or correct her.

This speaks volumes.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


"..and how will you be establishing credit with us sir?"

So spoke the receptionist handling Mine Host's check-in to a fancy hostelry in USA.

First impressions are meaningful. Sometimes a first impression is too bad to recover from.

Mine Host's nostrils flared. Never would he dare to speak to a client with such phraseology. Offended, nay borderline riled, Mine Host presents his credit card, vowing to not spend one brass razoo at this hotel beyond the room charge. Extending the stay? Not a hope, buddy!

The receptionist, with that one abrasive phrase, has guillotined any chance of Mine Host raiding the mini-bar, dining in-house, or using the telephone.

In a case of most unfortunate timing, Mine Host had spent the previous hour regaling his travelling companion with tales of how the American hotel industry is a world leader in how they handle matters at reception.

First impressions count.

It speaks volumes for the hospitality of the people & positive atmosphere of the nation, that most anyone who has visited the USA is actually able to recover from the first impression that is dished out by the immigration officer at passport control.

Using the scientific sample size of every border crossing he has ever made into the USA, Mine Host authoritavely states that commnist countries, with all the frigid baleful glares they could muster up for a representative of a "non-fraternal" nation, were never as unwelcoming as is the typical immigration officer with which one is confronted when entering the USA.

For a contrasting and very positive first impression, visit New Zealand, which has possibly the world's most friendly & disarming passport control officers.

First impressions count. One enters New Zealand feeling positively buoyant!