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A TRIP to the gym and a trip to the zoo can be reasonably similar depending on the people sharing the equipment.
From overeager spotters to overeating lost causes, the full myriad of human behaviour and emotion is on display.
Here are 10 people you are likely to encounter at a Melbourne gym:
Gym stereotypes: Seen the 'Lorna Jane' type hitting the yoga mat lately?
Decked out in pastel pants and a top that says “never give up” or something about women roaring, this workout is 20 per cent exercise and 80 per cent Instagram.
The top is Lorna Jane, the pants are Lorna Jane, the mat, drink bottle and superfluous visor are Lorna Jane.
That bag? Nice isn’t it! That’s LJ too.
If Lorna Jane did hair, that’s where she’d get her colour done.
If Lorna Jane were a registered religious organisation, that’s where she’d go on Sundays.
She’s changed her name by deed poll to Lorna Jane.
She has two kids called Lorna and Jane. Jane is a boy. They’re both on detox.
MORE MITCHELL TOY:
MELBOURNE SECRET SOCIETIES
MOST ANNOYING TRAIN COMMUTERS
ADVICE FOR YOUR AFL CLUBS
The ‘I’ll Spot You Dudes’ in action.
Gym stereotypes: The classic 'I'll spot you dude', dude
THE “I’LL SPOT YOU DUDE” DUDE
Walking within six metres of a bench press with quiet intent to use it on your own arouses a familiar voice: “I’ll spot you dude.”
120kg of towering muscle with oddly skinny ankles and suspiciously shaved shins, it might be possible he’s standing near your weedy figure to further accentuate his hulking strength.
There’s no way he can be this intensely happy and ripped without some pharmaceutical help.
THE GHOST OF THE SEPTEMBER MEMBER
The last time their mortal body graced the gym, it was an introductory session in September when they wanted to slim down for summer.
Now their ghostly figures haunt the Deep Heat-soaked halls, wailing with the pain of noticing yet another direct debit payment and promising themselves they’ll get their act together.
They will be promising for eternity.
Their spirit may be present but their body is on the couch scoffing chips as Netflix asks if they’re still there for the second time today.
Gym stereotypes: Have you spotted a struggler before?
Like a fish out of water, this unaccustomed fitness rookie is flapping all over the place.
In cargo shorts and long socks, their trainers look 10 years old and their technique reveals they’re way out of their depth.
Accidentally triggering the treadmill emergency stop five times, sitting the wrong way on the rowing machine and aimlessly rolling the medicine ball around the floor with glee, this patron at least makes you feel better about your own workout.
THE CORONARY TIME BOMB
Too old and podgy to be going at the stair master that hard but just fit enough not to be in hospital, this patron’s reddened face is almost bursting with determination, along with their arteries.
If you read on the news that there was a heart attack at your gym, this person’s face would spring to mind.
Their strained passion makes it seem like your civic duty to go and tell them to take it easy, or to call their health insurance provider to advise a doubling of their premium.
Gym stereotypes: 'The Lost Cause' means well, but just doesn't get it
THE LOST CAUSE
Squeezed into gym gear, having smashed a cookie from the kiosk on the way in, it’s 15 minutes on a low setting before they’re celebrating the end of their workout with a double choc shake and potato cakes.
A net gain of 300 calories per gym trip, they can’t even argue it’s better than nothing.
THE SWEAT BEAST
Every piece of equipment this person uses looks like it’s been dunked in a swimming pool immediately after use.
How do they still have any body fat at all with all this liquid coming out of them?
Will they ever fall in love?
You make a mental note of every single machine they’ve touched so you can never use them again.
Fitness God with this fit disciples.
Loitering in the corridor with a plastic table and a bunch of pamphlets about the personal trainer program, this guy used to be just like you.
Lazy and unfit, just like you. And fat. So fat.
But then he saw the light, the fitness God revealed himself and now he’s in top shape and even became a personal trainer himself!
This is your path too, he says.
Now he wants you to touch his abs. See? Rock hard.
Now he wants you to touch his calves. Go on, touch them. Touch them!
You quickly make your excuses and leave.
No social norm will stop her from fully expelling her lungs at every peak of strain.
Sure she’s got headphones in but geez, you’d think she’d still realise other people have ears.
No matter how high your own music will go, getting stuck near Gruntelina is like a mix between that scene from When Harry Met Sally and witnessing an operation without anaesthetic.
Better do some stretches before the workout. Stretch it out. Quads. Calves. More stretches. That’s 20 minutes, let’s go for longer.
Better do a couple more ankle stretches before they actually get on the treadmill too.
And some pre-stretch stretches.
After an hour of stretching and five minutes of exercise, the gym closes.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS,IT CAME FROM THE HERALD SUN ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO.
TEACHERS COFESSIONS WHAT YOUR CHILD'S REPORT REALLY SAYS
11:32 Apr 22 2019 Times Read: 89
BEING a teacher no longer means showing children how to read, write and do maths problems.
The role of a teacher has evolved into so much more than that, taking on the job of parent, coach, nurse and even nightclub bouncer for unruly students.
Teachers are often hamstrung on just how much they can actually say about your little angel’s performance or how they behave in the classroom.
This Victorian teacher reveals exactly what teachers mean when they say your child is “developing” a skill or has faced “social challenges” this term, along with a schoolyard full of other anecdotes parents needs to read.
WHAT YOUR CHILD’S REPORT REALLY SAYS
“Your child is a social student.” — your child never stops talking. They’re more focused on chatting to their neighbour than getting their work done and need to be reigned in.
“Your child works best independently.” — your child does not work well with others.
“Your child is developing this skill.” — your child cannot do this skill and this is a subtle nudge that you should work on this at home.
“With support, your child can do this skill.” — unless I am sitting next to your child the whole time, your child cannot do this skill.
“When focused, your child can do this skill.” — if your child decides to focus and actually listen to their teacher, they would be able to master this skill.
“Your daughter has faced social challenges this term.” — this is code for your daughter is part of a bitchy girl gang who make my life and the lives of the other students in the class hell.
“Your child is beginning to make better choices.” — your child is ever so slightly less naughty than they were earlier in the year but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
A Victorian teacher has revealed what your child’s report really says about them.
KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS
A little girl in my grade 1 class came up to me and said she had had an accident in her pants.
I asked, “Is it ones or twos?”
She replied, “I don’t know how many I did”.
Writing about what the kids did on the weekend may seem like an innocent task but can produce some not-so-innocent responses.
Sometimes I give these to the parents to save for their child’s 21st because they’re that good.
“I went to the bitch. I licked the bitch.”
(I went to the beach. I liked the beach.)
“I went down on the s--t in the playground.”
(I went down on the slide in the playground)
“On the weekend I did cocaine with my mum.”
(On the weekend I did cooking with my mum)
Teachers are no longer just that, they have to play multiple roles in the classroom.
SO MUCH MORE THAN JUST A TEACHER
Often teachers have to fulful roles in little people’s lives they just didn’t sign up for.
Professional athlete: After hurting another student in the class, a kid bolted from the room and I had to chase them around the school until I could catch them, calm them down and bring them back.
Security Guard: A kid in my class got violent and had to be removed from the room. I had to lock my classroom door as he tried to smash and boot the door and windows to get back in.
Nightclub bouncer: We had a class party to celebrate the end of NAPLAN testing, where the students were eating lollies, chips and cakes while picking songs off Spotify and dancing around the classroom. I turned my back for a few minutes and ‘YMCA’ came on. When I turned around, my classroom had become a mosh pit — one boy had another boy on his shoulders jumping up and down. I had to shut the party down before someone was hurt.
Cleaner: My weeks during the school term are a whirlwind of blood noses, toilet accidents, vomit and snotty tissues.
Parent: On school camps I have had to teach students basic manners, how to use a knife and fork, how to put a sheet on a bed, how to set the table, how to pack a bag.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS, IT COMES FROM THE HERALD SUN NEWSPAPER, ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO.
A British woman who has lived in Australia for almost 50 years has published a comprehensive list of all the things that Aussies consider to be bad manners.
Just in case you thought you read that incorrectly, I’ll say it again: A British national has taught the world about Australian culture.
Ironic, perhaps — but her list is gold, so give it a chance will ya?
University lecturer Jennifer Donovan, 60, moved to Australia 49 years ago and currently lives in Queensland.
In a lengthy post, uploaded to discussion platform Quora, Dr Donovan listed behaviours she believed would be considered bad manners by the typical Australian.
While Aussies don’t have an official etiquette handbook to refer to, many of the behaviours listed by Dr Donovan are woven into our social fabric, and Aussies rarely deviate from them.
She also defended Australians who are constantly labelled as ‘bogans’ by the rest of the world, claiming “we’re not at all like that!”
University lecturer Jennifer Donovan listed Aussie's biggest pet peeves.
She then listed our major pet peeves — from bragging to being on time — and, according to her readers, she absolutely killed it.
For anyone looking to call Australia home, this list is the only guide you’ll ever need.
Nail these simple rules and the keys to the kingdom are yours.
The good doctor said Aussies hate people who boast about themselves — the Brits call this ‘skiting’.
Be it your wealth, status or intelligence, bragging is viewed as painfully obnoxious, and is not received well down under.
“It immediately brands you as a tall poppy and there’s only one thing to do with them here — chop ’em off at the knees!” she said.
AUSSIE ACCENT ATTEMPTS
This habit is enough to make any actual Australian’s skin crawl.
Dr Donovan reminded the rest of the world not to say ‘G’day mate!’ in an Australian accent because it’s actually very offensive.
“That is really grating to us,” she said.
“Just say hello or hi.”
And Dr Donovan also warned against people using the ‘shrimp on the barbie’ adage.
“No ‘shrimps’ on the barbie, they are prawns. PRAWNS!” she said.
It's a prawn, OK?
TALKING TOO LOUD
Unlike our … ahem … vocal American friends, Aussies are big on keeping the volume down in public places.
Except, as Ms Donovan pointed out, if you’re at the pub and you’re “three sheets to the wind”.
“If people start glaring at you, tone it down,” she said.
Punching darts is not encouraged in Australia.
So much so, that we have a whole bunch of laws in place to keep smokers far away from us.
Ms Donovan said while smokers aren’t exactly social pariahs, most Australians don’t want to be around them.
Except, as mentioned above, if you’re three sheets to the wind.
“Places where you can legitimately smoke are few and far between,” she said.
“Lighting up where you are not supposed to can create quite a bit of hostility. Don’t do it!”
Tourist: "Want a dart?" Australia: "Nah, I'm good. You have to be 5m away from me btw."
No one likes a snob, so don’t be one, Dr Donovan said.
Showing everyone respect, “no matter what their job” is extremely important to Aussies.
“Food service people, the garbo, street sweepers — they are all treated with respect and generally thanked for their services,” she said.
“No talking down, even if you are the CEO of some greedy multinational.
“Without people prepared to do these jobs, the world would be a pretty unpleasant place.”
Too right, doctor!
Speaking of respect, Dr Donovan said Aussies hold doors open to “anyone and everyone”.
“In a lift, at a shop, getting onto a train, entering a room,” she said.
“Of course, particularly for the elderly, those carrying a baby or burdened with packages, but we do it for anyone. we’re nice that way.”
Aussies generally don’t tip.
“It can actually seem bad-mannered to the people you are with if you suddenly flash out your wallet and start leaving tips. If you feel you really have to, in some restaurants you can discreetly add a tip to the bill (some bills have a space for this) but really, it’s not needed, and it is not expected.
Show us ya tips! But actually, please don’t …
The unspoken rule of the Aussie commuter.
Dr Donovan warned newcomers that they’ll be on the end of a poisonous stink eye if they break this rule.
“Stay left, not only on the roads, but also on footpaths and in corridors,” she said.
“And please don’t stop dead in a thoroughfare to yak on your phone,
“Even though most Aussies won’t say much, you will get poisonous stares.”
Australians treasure their personal space, something Dr Donovan suggests may be due to a relatively small population living on a giant island.
“Please don’t crowd us or touch us even accidentally if you can avoid it,” she said.
Dr Donovan used public transport to illustrate her point, warning that if there are completely empty seats available on a bus or a train, “then don’t sit next to someone”.
“Don’t sit right next to strangers, leave a seat or two,” she said.
Aussies need our personal space, so back up, pal.
Litter bugs are the absolute worst, and Aussies aren’t afraid to call them out.
Dr Donovan said littering is not only illegal, but “it is an affront”.
“If you are eating in a fast food restaurant, clean up after yourself and put your rubbish in the bins provided,” she said.
“Try not to drop stuff if you are not prepared to clean it up when you go,
“Definitely, no cigarette butts to be thrown on the ground or tossed out of car windows.”
Dr Donovan also reminded the world that Aussies get pretty incensed when people don’t dispose of their rubbish in the correct bins.
“Put the right stuff in the right bin. You might get scolded by someone if you are seen not doing this.
Dr Donovan said Aussies hate a litter bug. So don't be one.
JUMPING THE QUEUE
Aussies have some pretty well established queue rules, Dr Donovan said.
Not cutting, ever.
“Just ask if this is the end of the line,” she said.
Similarly, if you’re at the pub, and the bartenders asks for your order, but you know someone go there before you, “it’s polite to say ‘they were here first’”.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS. IT COMES FROM THE HERALD SUN NEWSPAPER. ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO.
THERE are tens of thousands of people who partake in the daily grind on Melbourne public transport every day.
While there are some obvious rules set in place by the transport providers, we thought it was in the best interest of all commuters to create a comprehensive guide to public transport etiquette.
It’s very easy to put in place and will help improve everyone’s trip, here’s how:
1. Let passengers exit first
We know it’s winter and you’ve been shivering in the cold waiting for your train to arrive, but piling in while others are trying to get off is just rude. Wait your turn. Being that eager for a seat is plain uncool.
There are a lot of people waiting to get on the train, but be courteous and wait for those already aboard to get off before jumping on.
2. Have your myki card ready when you’re touching on and touching off
At a lot of stations there are only a precious number of myki scanners, and valuable seconds wasted scrounging through your bag to find your myki card may mean the difference between the people behind you making or missing the train.
Sometimes Myki machine errors can’t be helped — but if this guy had topped up before he got to the station, these commuters might be on a train right now. Cartoon: Chris ‘ROY’ Taylor.
3. Seating etiquette
We could write a whole thesis on the rules for seating on public transport. Instead, we’ve decided to illustrate it in diagram form.
The rules for where to sit on a train are very complex. (Note: Green bars indicate handles) Picture: Mitchell Toy
The key point to take from seating etiquette is to maximise personal space and legroom — combined with convenience of being able to get to an available seat. The first people to board the train usually face the direction that the train is going, as illustrated above.
The rules for where to sit on a train. Stop 2. Picture: Mitchell Toy
As more people board the train, the key is to keep personal space high, while sacrificing legroom.
The rules for where to sit on a train. Stop 3. Picture: Mitchell Toy
As the seats fill up, a common courtesy from commuters already on the train is to move down a seat, so new passengers can get to a seat quickly and safely before the train starts moving again. Simple, right? Wrong: there’s always someone who will take that seat right next to you when there are another five around you (insert eyeroll).
4. Use headphones
No blaring the latest song by Pit Bull out of your phone’s speaker — you may like Pit Bull, but chances are — no-one else does, so don’t force your music taste (or lack thereof) on the rest of the carriage. Also, as a rule of thumb, only have your headphone volume on 75 per cent max volume. Save your ears and the person sitting next to you.
Just because you’re wearing headphones, doesn’t mean you aren’t annoying commuters. 75 per cent volume is more than enough. Picture: Shane Luskie
5. Having conversations
Whether it be talking with other passengers or on your phone, talk as if you’re in the entrance of the library — polite quiet talking is fine — but keep in mind that others are trying to read or snooze — so keep it to a considerate level and do not SHOUT.
Keep your conversations on transport to an appropriate level. No-one wants to hear you tell your mate how many drinks you had last night.
6. Do NOT eat hot food on a packed train
We cannot stress this enough — just because it’s convenient, doesn’t mean it’s acceptable. You may think it doesn’t smell, but it does. And it annoys A LOT of your fellow commuters who are hungry and want to steal it from your hands. Or perhaps the smell of those dim sims are making the vegetarian next to you dry retch.
Sure that giant chicken drumstick looks tasty — but beware the stench when consumed in a small area. Picture: Shane Luskie
Do you have more train rules you think should be on the list? Tell us in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.
7. General politeness
If another stranger asks you a question or tries to engage you in conversation, don’t pretend they don’t exist. Be courteous and at least say hello before you bury yourself in your digital world and switch off from other living people around you.
Overcrowded trains can be horrible, but if you take a glass-half-full approach, it might be a chance to make a new friend. Picture:
8. Respect other commuters’ privacy
On the flip side to point number 7, if you are the (often crazy) stranger who wants to engage others in conversation — remember not everyone feels the same way. And just because you forgot your phone, doesn’t mean you’re allowed to read the book over the shoulder of another commuter.
You get a max of two questions to try and engage them on conversation, and if they only respond with one-word answers, just leave them alone. You can make a new friend on the next train.
Just because you forgot your iPad, doesn’t mean you can then spy on someone else.
9. Cover your mouth if you have the sniffles
We have all been there, the person next to you sneezes and doesn’t cover their mouth. You give them eye daggers, but they don’t look at you. Then they sneeze again. Same deal. We don’t need your germs flying out into the small carriage’s atmosphere to infect everyone else - as much as sharing is caring, so please embrace a hanky if you’re got the sniffles. And apologise if you forget.
Sneezing and coughing can be unavoidable. Covering your mouth is essential. Just do it.
10. Don’t leave backpacks or oversized bags on your back/arms.
Put them between your legs to help maximise space. Heroes in a half shell are really cool in the sewer or on TV, but not on the train.
HS NEWS IFRAME - FBOOKPROMO
11. Give your seat up to those who really need it
There might be a pregnant lady, small child, a disabled or elderly person who may need a seat a little more than you do. Be considerate, be kind. Chivalry is not dead — especially if you’re an office worker and are going to sit down behind a desk for the next 8 hours — standing up might actually do your legs some good. If you are on your way home, think about the couch you’ll soon be on.
Do a good deed for the day and give your seat up to someone who needs it.
12. Respect your driver
The driver is doing their best to get to your destination on time. If your train/tram/bus is delayed — it’s probably not their fault. Think about some of the horrific stuff they have to deal with during their time behind the wheel, so thank them for doing what they do. You could make their day.
A shout out to our committed Metro Trains drivers like Chris Ward, who makes amusing announcements to passengers on trains while driving. Picture: Andrew Tauber
13. Don’t litter or vandalise
There are a lot of people who are going to use the train after you — so don’t leave it looking worse than when you used it. Would you want to sit on a smashed up pie with tomato sauce? Does leaving a can of soda on the floor to spill everywhere sound appealing to your soon-to-be-sticky shoes and bags? While we are at it, is there any real point to pointless vandalism? Was cutting up that seat, scratching that window or spraying your awesome tag on the seat REALLY worth it? If the train becomes too damaged, it can be put out of commission — so it could mean you’ll be late next time you travel. Then they have to fix that train, which means they might have to put fares up, so think before you ink.
Why, why, why vandal a train? No-one wins.
Kiara does the right thing and puts perfume on after she gets off the train. Good work Kiara.
14. Keep your bodily smells to yourself
If you happen to know you suffer from bad BO, don’t use one of the overhanging support handles, just hold onto a nearby seat handle or lean against a wall to try and avoid the stench releasing. Unfortunately, often the perpetrators of this societal scourge are blissfully unaware of their odour and it’s probably not the best place to kindly alert a stranger to this. The opposite is also true for perfume ‘skunkers’. If you are one of those people who enjoys spraying yourself with 14 squirts of Chanel No. 5, bring the bottle in your bag and musk yourself when you get off the train. As for flatulence, that one should be common sense.
15. Don’t take a free ride
You are stealing from everyone if you don’t cough up the cash for a journey. If we all pay our way on our trains, then there may be enough money in government coffers to actually improve our transport system. Who wins there? Commuters.
This sneaky commuter is trying to fare evade. Not cool. Picture: Shane Luskie
16. Don’t use the train as a soapbox
It can happen at any time - day or night. But racists who feel the need to share their views are not only deeply offensive, but risk ending up on YouTube, as well as being charged by the police.
Avoid being a Youtube hit for the wrong reasons — don’t broadcast your opinions on the train.
17. Cyclists should try to avoid peak trains
Nothing against cyclists — we know most of you aren’t training for the Tour de France and we don’t expect you to ride from Frankston to the CBD every day, but bikes take up a lot of space. If you do have to take a peak-hour train, make sure you keep doorways clear, and don’t board at the first door of the first carriage, as this area is a priority for mobility impaired passengers.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS, THIS CAME FROM THE HERALD SUN NEWSPAPERS, ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO.
TRAIN commuting in Melbourne would be a great deal better if there were no other passengers in the whole city.
But unfortunately, dealing with the follies of others is an inevitability.
Whether it’s fending off undesirable legroom thieves or stealing a free ride from your fellow taxpayers, here is our list of train hacks the (unethical) commuter would never be without.
Always carry litter in your bag. Scatter it on the seat opposite and other commuters will avoid the area, giving you extra leg room. When you take it with you at the end of your journey, other passengers will admire you for cleaning up.
Technically you don’t need to be injured to use crutches, right?
THE $40 SEAT TRICK
Unfortunately you can’t buy a seat on a peak hour train. But you can buy a pair of crutches for $40. Then see who dares leave you standing in the doorway. If it doesn’t work at first, let out a few pained moans to turn up the guilt.
JAG ÄR SVENSK
Get your hands on a guide book about Melbourne, printed in Swedish. This is your free ticket. If an authorised officer asks for your (unvalidated) myki, pull it out and start muttering something incomprehensible. If they persist, give them the address of a city youth hostel in the thickest accent you can muster. There’s no way you’re paying that fine.
DIM SIM ROULETTE
There’s nothing worse than getting stuck near a commuter hell-bent on eating smelly hot food. But it’s amazing what a word of encouragement can do to stamp it out. Tell them you admire their courage and that it’s wonderful to see, despite the recent salmonella scare, they are sticking to their guns and chowing down those dim sims. Their appetite will fade.
Most of the year it’s impossible to make a weekend train trip without meeting a horde of earnest supporters, screaming the team song with ill-gotten gusto. It’s perfectly OK to join in. In fact, you should be such a passionate supporter of their club that you suggest a minute’s silence for a departed club legend, such as a former coach or captain. The others will have to comply out of respect. Make sure the minute is open-ended.
THE SELFISH STICK
The selfie stick has revolutionised internet narcissism. It will also revolutionise your commute. Slot your myki on to the end of the stick and it becomes a device that lets you reach over the myki barrier and touch it from the other side. Pull it back and touch off again and bingo - your trip is free. This trick only works when you don’t touch on at the start of your trip, and when you have no respect for yourself or others.
Fight back against the spreaders.
Getting stuck opposite a hulking knee-spreader with little regard for others’ leg room is a horrid business. Have a fake phone conversation with your boyfriend or girlfriend about how the doctor has just told you the thigh rash is almost certainly clearing up and it should only be a few more weeks before she/he can safely touch your upper legs. Leg room should materialise as if by magic.
When sitting opposite an inconsiderate stranger who wants nothing more than to carry on loudly on the phone to their crass friend, it will take more than a furrowed brow to make them stop. Maintain eye contact, smile and laugh along to the jokes in the conversation. Match their anecdotes with expressions of shock, eye rolls or giggles. That’ll weird them out. They’ll move or shut up.
A simple accessory such as a satchel bag takes on a whole new importance with a sticker on the side saying “Urgent blood”. You are in such a rush that of course you forgot to touch on and of course you need to get off at Flinders St before everyone else. Of course you should be permitted out of the station without touching off and of course you should remove the sticker before you get to your workplace or class, lest your colleagues start asking questions you can’t answer.
A few hacks can help you avoid cramping your style.
If you’re sick of other passengers pressing against you in the standing-room-only section, you should learn some Psalms. Some Pslams that mention God a lot. Start muttering them under your breath, but loud enough for the space invader to hear you. Get progressively louder if they don’t immediately give you some room. If that still doesn’t work, tell them you’d like to talk to them about Jesus.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS IT CAME FROM THE HERALD SUN, ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO.
YESTERDAY WAS THE 36 DEATH ANIVERSARY OF MY BELOVED GRANDFATHRE DOUGLAS. HE WAS ONE OF THE KINDEST PEOPLE YOU COULD EVER MEET./ HE WAS AN EXCELLENT COOK A KIND LOVING COMPASIONATE PERSON WHO ALWAYS LISTENED WITHOUT JUDGEMENT OR CRITISM TO ME. HE WAS ONE OF THE VERY FEW BIOLOGICAL FAMILY MEMBRES TO TRULY LVOE AND ACCEPT ME FOR WHO I WAS. HE UNLIKE MY FATHER, WAS NEVER ABUSIVE OR CRUEL OR UNKIND TO ME. HIS SON MY FATHRE WAS A CRUEL ABUSIVE FATHER. MY GRANDFATHER WAS ONE OF THE REASONS, I AM A KIND DECENT PERSON WITH GOOD VALUES. WITHOUT HAVING HIM IN MY LIFE I DONT KNOW HOW I WOULD HAVE COPED WITH THE CRUEL ABUSE MY FATHER INFLICTED UPON ME. MY GRANDFATHER DOUGLAS ALWAYS HAD A KNID AND LOVING WORDFOR ME.EVEN THOUGH ITS BEEN 36 YEARS SINCE HE PASSED , I LOVE AND MISS HIM DEARLY. THANK YOU GRANDFATHER, FOR ALL YOU DID FOR ME FOR SHOWING ME UNCONDITIONAL LOVE , FOR BEIONG SUCH A GOOD ROLE FOR ME.THANK YOU SIMPLY FOR LOVING E JUST AS I AM AND REMINDING ME THAT GOOD PEOPLE STILL EXSIST IN THE WORLD. I WILL TREASURE ALL THE MEMORIES WE SHARED ADN I AM SO THANKFUL FOR THE TIME WE SPENT TOGETHER. I LOVE YOU. MAY YOU REST PEACEFULLY. GOODNIGHT GRANDFATHER, REST WELL UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN IN SPIRIT ONE FINE MORNING, YOUR ETERNALLY GRATEFUL AND LOVING GRANDAUGHTER LINDSAY.
A FAVOURITE New Year ritual for political geeks around the country is ripping into freshly released cabinet documents from 30 years ago.
The sensitive documents, outlining the ins and outs of the centre of Australian government, are kept secret for more than two decades until, presumably, even fewer people care about them and they are safe in the hands of the public.
This year’s haul revealed nothing too controversial; Paul Keating’s government, considering an Australian republic, was advised not to let ordinary people elect the president in case they chose the wrong sort of person.
And there was a plan, later knocked on the head, to increase income tax to a whopping 50 per cent for anyone earning more than $50,000 a year.
There’s always a promise of unearthing a juicy conspiracy in cabinet papers, much like in the recently released and long awaited JFK files.
But real conspiracy nuggets are few and far between.
Here are some Melbourne conspiracy theories that have had lips flapping for ages.
Ned Kelly is the subject of several conspiracy theories.
THE KELLY GANG HOAX DEATHS
When Ned and his gang packed it in at a pub at Glenrowan the notorious bushranger was arrested after an epic shootout that claimed the lives of his brother Dan Kelly and gang members Steve Hart and Joseph Byrne.
But in 2005 a Queensland researcher came forward claiming that Dan Kelly and Steve Hart had survived the final stand and went on to live for decades.
It was suggested that charred bodies found in the burnt pub were in fact drunk hostages, not the felons.
The theory was fuelled by an old bushman who came out of the woodwork in the 1930s claiming to be Dan Kelly.
He had the bushranger’s initials branded on his backside and sported burn scars which he said came from the fire at Glenrowan.
But his memories were faded and the old fella was generally discredited.
Another conspiracy theory suggests Dan himself was the one arrested and hanged in the place of his brother Ned, but that probably isn’t true either.
Victorians love a UFO conspiracy.
UFO ACTIVITY AND THE BASS STRAIT TRIANGLE
Just as Victorians love a good gangland war, and bragging about it to their interstate friends, it appears the old Bermuda Triangle myth caught their attention and has been superimposed on Bass Strait.
Since European exploration, ships have sunk or gone missing in the tumultuous passage and flights, including Air Force planes in WWII, have vanished over the strait.
But the most famous disappearance was that of pilot and UFO buff Frank Valentich during a light plane training flight over Bass Strait in October 1978.
Valentich, 20, radioed Melbourne air controllers to report what he described as a huge aircraft and a green light flying 300m above him and that his engine was having trouble.
Shortly afterwards he disappeared and was never found despite an exhaustive search.
While some believed the inexperienced pilot faked his disappearance and landed safely elsewhere, conspiracy theorists believe aliens may have abducted Valentich and his aircraft.
But Valentich was himself interested in UFOs according to his family and a more plausible explanation is that he became disoriented, flew upside down, saw his own lights reflecting in the water and subsequently crashed.
Did American mobsters kill Phar Lap?
PHAR LAP AND THE YANKEE GANGSTERS
Big Red, now preserved in Melbourne Museum, was the greatest racehorse in Australia and a license to print money for his owners.
But on a trip to California in 1932 the champion unexpectedly died.
Immediately rumours and theories began to circulate that American mobsters had killed the horse off the firm up their financial interests in racing.
But other explanations later came to the fore, including an apparent admission by trainer and part owner Harry Telford that tonics were sometimes given to the horse that contained strychnine and arsenic.
A build-up of the toxins may have reached a fatal level and killed the horse.
Forensic tests later showed a dose of arsenic was ingested by the horse in the ours leading up to death, but whether the tonic or outside influence is to blame remains unclear.
Even arsenic found in the gelding’s hide has been explained by some as coming from grass sprayed with chemicals.
For a while suspicion fell on strapper Tommy Woodcock who might have, accidentally or otherwise, given the horse a toxic overdose, but a letter discovered later apparently showed he was against giving the horse tonics and often refused to do so.
This worldwide conspiracy movement has put down solid roots in Melbourne where a ring of anti-vaccination doctors has been blasted open, forcing one to stop practising medicine.
Conspiracy theories on the use of vaccines on children range from belief that it can cause autism and other problems, to extreme views on government biological control.
In August last year it was revealed at least three Victorian doctors were under investigation as a network of GPs with anti-vaccination sympathies was helping families dodge compulsory immunisations.
A video surfaced from an anti-vaxxer event at which participants boasted about 600 families ducking the vaccinations.
The following month Dr John Piesse, who had a practice in Mitcham, had his registration suspended over the anti-vax affair.
Was Harold Holt picked up by a Chinese submarine?
HARALD HOLT AND THE CHINESE SUB
The most persistent and baffling missing person case in Victoria recently saw its 50th anniversary.
Prime Minister Harold Holt went for a dip at Portsea in December 1967 and never came back.
Cold War imagination has led some to believe the able swimmer was picked up by a Chinese submarine or that he staged his disappearance to defect in some other way.
Other theories state he ran away with a lover or committed suicide.
His family has recently rubbished the theories saying that the area where he went missing is too shallow and treacherous for vessels.
The most likely explanation remains that Holt was swept out to sea and simply drowned.
Local councils are routinely criticised for being bureaucratic sinkholes in which the left hand doesn’t even know what the left hand is doing.
A more charitable assessment is that they are efficient, silent servants of the public who happen to reap endless riches from parking fines.
Here are seven rules for running a local government that all councils should keep in mind.
Stumbling across a council consultation process should be harder than stumbling across the wreck of the Titanic.
CONSULT AT YOUR PERIL
Just as the Dingley Bypass is named that way because it doesn’t go through Dingley, a consultation process is named that way because it should have as little consultation as possible.
The true aim should be to invite feedback on council plans while giving as little information as possible about the plans themselves.
Be like a whisper of wind on a mountaintop.
Bland flyers on the local library notice board. Small, hidden ads in the local paper. A section on the website hidden so deep it would take James Cameron in a submarine to find it.
Instead of saying “We’re building an ugly, multi-level car park”, say “We’re streamlining vehicle storage.”
Instead of saying “This huge apartment building will cast a shadow over your yard”, say “We’re inviting new, diverse residents to the area.”
By the time shovels are in the ground, nobody will know what’s going on, but your perfectly legit consultation process will be long over.
SPEND EITHER NOTHING OR TOO MUCH
If you’re going to spend ratepayers’ money on infrastructure or services, there should be no gap at all between spending nothing for an extended period and suddenly spending way too much.
Is that toilet block in the park a run-down, disease-spawning hive of drug use and immortality?
Better spend nothing on it for 15 years until residents threaten arson against the council chambers unless something is done.
Then spend $3 million on a minimalist, architect-designed, impractical artistic statement that nobody will use.
Similarly, at Christmas, either spend nothing on decorations and alienate Christian ratepayers, or dump a couple of hundred grand on flimsy tinsel.
There should be nothing between a total lack of funding and far too much funding.
REMEMBER IT’S NOT YOUR MONEY
When you need new ideas about waste management or drainage, you could visit other councils in Melbourne or any of the countless others interstate.
But it’s not your money, remember. So go to Zurich.
They might have plenty of ideas for dog parks in NSW, but there’s nothing like springtime in Paris to focus your thoughts on your ratepayers’ needs.
When claiming ludicrous expenses, remember that you’re high profile enough to be elected but low profile enough for nobody to be looking when you rort public funds.
It’s as if a junior football player has been given the sponsorship of an AFL star.
If it’s not your money, naturally you’re not going to miss it when it’s gone.
BUILD A WEBSITE THAT YOU YOURSELF CANNOT NAVIGATE
An ancient myth tells of the prodigal architect Daedalus who built the labyrinth, a vast maze-like structure so complex that even he could barely escape it.
Daedalus went on to forge a successful career as a web development consultant for local councils.
Once you enter a council website, you are either encouraged to quit immediately and abandon the information you were seeking, or delve into the complex, interlinked, confusing and maddening tunnels of government html.
In this world, as the Red Queen from Alice and Wonderland would say, you have to run as fast as you can just to stand still.
The mythical labyrinth of Daedalus has nothing on council websites.
CHARGE PEOPLE FOR LIVING
In developing countries it is common for residents to make private payments to local officials for favourable treatment or to speed up bureaucracy.
There it’s called a bribe. In Melbourne it’s known as a council permit.
Want to cut down that tree on land you’ve already paid for? It’ll cost you.
Want to build a new fence exactly the same as the one you took down? Better show us some John Monash or we’re not playing ball.
The trick is to find the friction point at which it’s easier for the resident to pay the permit and forget about it rather than kick up a real stink.
They’ll probably pay for a permit to re-seal their driveway, but they might not cop a bill for mowing their lawn.
That’s not to say lawn mowing permits shouldn’t be considered because there’s probably a neat environmental excuse to charge them for that as well.
LEAD DISSIDENTS ON ENDLESS FORM CHASES
If a resident wants to lodge a complaint, reverse a decision, appeal a fine or otherwise bother the council, make them run on a treadmill that never ends.
The phrase “It’s an easy process” should precede an run-around of printing and completing forms, dealing with several different council staff who each claim somebody else should be handling it, waiting for someone to get back from holiday and explaining the same problem again and again.
It should be easier to shift Flinders St Station two metres to the left than get a council to do something it doesn’t want to do.
A pothole should take a year to fix and a fine should take a second to issue.
BE INEFFICIENT IN EVERYTHING BUT FINE COLLECTION
It should be expected that a council officer will take seven working days to make contact about an urgent query.
If the footpath out the front of your house is cracked and people are routinely tripping over and going to hospital, better put the kettle on because the council might be a while.
But stay one minute longer than you should in a two-hour zone and you’re cooked.
Matched only by the East German secret police and the eye at the top of the tower in Lord of the Rings, it would probably take five years of Olympic-level training to get this efficient at issuing fines.
Of course, if you don’t pay on time, there’s no sympathy.
All of us have, at one time or other, valued a parking space more than our soul.
Here are seven deadly parking sins to stay away from, and be granted inner parking peace.
Take not more than your allotted space.
If you know how to start the ignition of a car, you know that white lines are the invisible hands of God that bring order to the chaos of parking.
Just as a child might imagine that a single toe hanging out of their bed at night might be bitten off by a monster, so too should you assume that any part of your car hanging over those sacred white lines will be lopped off.
Especially with angle parking, one foul parker can cause a horrible knock-on effect felt by motorists ten cars down the line.
If you’re banked up in traffic on a high street and someone in an angled parking spot right next to you is leaving, you will hear a voice in your head.
That voice will tell you it’s OK to reverse, forcing those behind you to reverse, and claim the parking spot.
That voice is the devil.
Once you’re past a parking spot, you’re past it. Reversing a short distance when nobody is behind you is one thing, but depriving another of a spot that has been rightfully granted to them by fate is another.
Do so at your peril.
Abandon all hope, ye who attempt the U-turn park
U-TURNING TO OBLIVION
Angled parking is angled so it’s easy for people driving in a particular direction to park.
By presuming it’s OK to do a U-turn into an angled parking space, not only are you going against nature, you are selling your soul.
Not only does it rob the rightful parker of their space, but it creates a traffic confusion that can take a month to clear.
Most often witnessed in times of heightened panic such as Christmas or just before school pick-up, the angled U-turn is a sure road to hell.
OFFERING FALSE HOPE
After 45 minutes of shopping, it’s easier to drop the bags in the boot before going to get a coffee.
But beware: your return to your car is bound to offer tantalising but false hope to a passing motorist hungry for your car space.
It is best to indicate at first opportunity, with a shake of the head and lateral hand movement, that this endeavour will prove fruitless and let the poor soul move on.
Loading shopping into the rear of your car for a minute or so without an indication of an intent to stay, then simply walking off not only crushes hearts, it holds up traffic in already busy high streets.
Pride is a good thing when it comes to paintwork.
Your 2002 Hyundai Getz is a bit frayed around the edges so it’s no big loss if the door gets chipped.
But don’t just fling it open and hope for the best.
Spare a thought for the car parked next to you and, even if it’s another old Getz, don’t just thrust your door into their paintwork.
Taking pride in the chariot is a worthy pursuit and respect of others’ possessions is vital.
Even if it means wriggling up awkwardly out of the drivers seat through a narrow opening in the door, not damaging your parking neighbour’s panels is a civic duty.
PLAYING THE SLOTH
Just as loading the boot and walking away without proper communication is wrong, so too is taking far too long to load the boot when you actually are leaving.
Handling each shopping bag as if it were a newborn.
Stopping and chatting with a friend.
Checking the weather on your phone.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS. IT COMES FROM THE HERALD SUN. ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO.
Cafe atmosphere has come a long way since the days in decades past when two businessmen could never catch up over an espresso without it appearing like a romantic liaison.
Now Melburnians are not only open to coffee of all sorts, almost all of them are pretty much chemically dependent.
Here are seven people you are likely to come across in your local coffee spot.
Children should be seen, and not heard at 150 decibels running between tables.
The nightmare of any relaxed cafe customer is the sudden cacophony of a table neighbour with young children who seem intent on demolishing the premises and parents who don’t care.
Marginally better is the parent who at least attempts to lessen the ruckus by plonking the kid in front of an iPad - with the volume pushed to its upper limit and Baby Shark infecting the ear canals of all patrons.
It starts with a beverage or food order so complex, the staff know it is doomed.
A main ingredient is to be served on the side, at a certain temperature or with a certain texture.
If the serving doesn’t match their barometric standard, there’s only one thing to do - send it back.
Each complaint seems to have an obvious solution which the staff must now pretend they hadn’t ever considered.
“This coffee is too hot.” Then why didn’t you wait a bit?
“This almond milk tastes funny”. No kidding.
Ranging from the reasonable “This water glass bears the lipstick of a former patron” to the ridiculous “This chai is not properly aligned with my mood”, there is a small part of sender backerer in all of us.
The Suss Loiterer in action
At 8am he’s there when the cafe opens and at noon he’s still taking up a table having ordered just a solitary cappuccino and a biscuit at a stretch.
As patrons are turned away or told they can only have their coffee to takeaway for lack of tables, the suss loiterer is holding the fort, potentially sinking hundreds of dollars.
But surely the loiterer is staying for the cafe atmosphere, not the free Wi-Fi that makes the shop a home office away from home.
There is a wall in just about every cafe to which a long plush bench is attached with a row of about four tables in front.
These tables are the closest together of any in the shop. And this is where the lay counsellor and their client have their lengthy session.
Surely knowing they are within earshot of the customer 40cm to their left, there is nothing they won’t discuss.
Intimate details of failing relationships, troubles from childhood and deeply personal details about third parties, who are referred to by name, just to get started.
The Big Table Hog in situ
BIG TABLE HOG
Just popping in for a long mac and a flick through the paper, this mindlessly selfish patron has no problem taking up a table meant for five, all on their own.
Brushing away the menu and staff who enquire whether they’re waiting for friends to arrive, the big table hog is happy for a group of octogenarian women to huddle on stools around a table for two so long as their acreage is not disturbed.
AWKWARD TAKEAWAY STANDER
That’ll be one flat white to take away.
Now please stand around awkwardly in the cramped space between the toll and the kitchen entrance until your coffee is ready.
Don’t block that aisle. Watch out for that pram. Plates coming through. Oops, there’s a kid under your feet.
Three minutes seems to last a full screening of Titanic while this poor patron is stuck in a no man’s land where they are constantly an obstacle but can be nowhere else.
The tedium of the Hot Daters
Coffee - the date to go on when you’re not going on a date.
Neither of these two are willing to admit it’s a date, they’re just catching up in daylight hours in a way that can later be justified as platonic if they don’t really like each other.
But if they really hit it off, this will later be referred to as the first date in the wedding speech.
For the time being they’ll just run out of things to talk about and say something like, “I wonder what sort of beans they grind in this place.”
I DIDNT WRITE THIS. IT COMES FROM THE HERALD SUN NEWSPAPER, ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO
THE STRANGER ARGUER
No matter how many football matches this person attends, they are astounded to find people cheering for the opposition.
Better start an argument with a stranger about it.
In no time, innocent footy-goers are caught in a crossfire of rhetoric and put-downs as perfect strangers make the most of their differences.
When the stranger arguer’s teams kicks a goal, and particularly if they reclaim the lead, hearty and repeated calls of “How about that, huh?” are inevitable.
Like the spice markets of the orient, a feast of plenty unfolds from this patron’s cooler bag.
Cheeses, quince paste, olives, almonds, dates, sun-dried tomato and smoked salmon are laid out across their lap.
Thermoses with soup, tea, and hot chocolate are balanced precariously on the knees.
Good luck squeezing past once the engorging is underway.
None shall pass.
OLD BADGE LADY
She looks like she could predict your office footy tipping fortune by reading your palm.
Badges cover every centimetre of clothing and you imagine her living room would look the same.
Fraser Gehrig, Damian Cupido, Mark Harvey and Wayne Carey in a Crows top all might make an appearance; her scarf, coat and beanie make a fading mobile museum of half-forgotten players and long lost dreams.
But the old badge lady remains philosophical even in the face of crushing loss — no matter how long ago, she remembers the taste of premiership victory, and that time will come again.
Want to go for a quick pot?
That’s the start of at least a whole quarter standing in the bar watching the game on a screen while the real thing takes place 20m away.
Having met up at the pub for a pot before the game, pot man made sure he got to the ground early for a cheeky pot before grabbing a pot just before quarter time, half time and three quarter time.
Grab a pot before we head home? Why not.
Where footy was meant to be watched.
Stand back, everyone.
This person’s scarf is letting everyone know they’re a paid-up member.
And if that wasn’t enough, the four bumper stickers on their European hatchback from ’15, ’16, ’17 and ’18 show they’re totally devoted.
A raised eyebrow above Swiss-framed glasses invites you to ask if they are indeed a member.
“Yes, I’m a paid-up member,” is the response.
“And you? You just attend games and wear merchandise like a common peasant. You should be a member. A member like me.”
THE YELLY SWEARER
A full forward misses a set shot? Better scream abuse.
The umpire makes a dodgy call on deliberate out of bounds? Better let fly in the foulest way permitted by the English language.
As parents wrap scarfs around the ears of young children, the yelly swearer provides a loud education on the particulars of disturbing insults.
And they show no sign of shutting up, even when their embarrassed friends tug on the elbow of their jacket in a vain appeal to stop the c-bombs.
An angry Sydney Swans fan gestures during a match. Picture: Nigel Hallett
THE SEAT GUARDIAN
Mind if I sit here? Absolutely out of the question.
The seat guardian, like a troll under a bridge, has scarfs and jackets across most of the row and none shall pass.
Their two dozen friends will be arriving very soon after attending to some very important business at the Red Rooster van outside and these seats are completely off limits.
By quarter time the friends still haven’t arrived but the seat guardian would sooner die than let anybody else be comfortable.
Not content with the visual stimuli of Australian rules, radio man needs to hear the call.
With earplugs Araldited to his head and a sustained faraway glare, it takes three screams of “excuse me” and a violent shake of the shoulder before radio man will let you out of the row to go to the loo.
Radio Man is deaf to the world.
Like Hodor, this person only knows one word: ball.
The spectator could sit silently for twenty minutes until a dubious tackle extracts an adamant “Ball!”
Followed by “Ball!” while standing, with hand motions and then a more subdued “Ball” while seated if the umpire doesn’t call it.
A reminder of their expanded vocabulary is sometimes provided with a “Yes!” and a clap when ball is actually called.
THE METRO TENOR
This guy’s team just won a home and away round of football and everybody on this train is going to know about it.
Celebrating as if peace has been declared in the Pacific, the Metro tenor, in a moth-bitten beanie and holding uncovered alcohol, starts up the team song.
A few others sing along for a while but only his closest friends come back for round two.
Even they abandon him the third time around.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS, ITY CAME FOM THE HERALD SUN ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO.
One Victorian teacher shares the 10 types of parents they all have to deal with on a daily basis.
So which one are you?
THE CRAZY COACH
As if freezing your butt off outside, trying to supervise some kind of sporting activity isn’t bad enough… cue the crazy coach. This parent watches and judges every move you make and god forbid you are 1cm out when you measure that 10-year-old’s discus throw.
THE HELICOPTER PARENT
For teachers, this is probably the most feared type of parent. They lurk constantly and have to meet with you almost daily to discuss anything from what their child ate for breakfast to what colour they are painting their house. They take up almost all of your free time before and after school, teachers can be seen suddenly changing direction and hiding when the helicopter parent is in sight.
THE ‘MY CHILD IS AN ANGEL’ PARENT
This parent constantly comes to teachers with complaints about the behaviour of other students. After digging deeper and explaining to the parent that their child is actually part of the problem, the parent will deny any wrongdoing on their child’s behalf or begrudgingly admit if their child did do something, someone else must have forced them.
THE ‘I COULD EASILY BE A TEACHER’ PARENT
This parent believes that there is a magical book of lesson plans given to teachers at the start of each year which can easily be passed onto parents, and in fact anyone with this book could teach children. Therefore, when they decide to take their child on a three-month trip around Australia, they are confused when you can’t offer them three months’ worth of lessons for the road.
THE IMPOSSIBLE TO CONTACT PARENT
It doesn’t matter how many emails are sent or phone calls are made, this parent just does not respond. You finally meet the parent in June at the parent-teacher interviews and explain that their child is behind. They then appear surprised and mystified and ask, “Why is this the first time I am hearing about this?”
THE GERM SPREADERS
Typically, the child of these parents comes up to you at 9am and says, “I was sick this morning but mum had to work so she just said to call later if I feel worse”. Skip to two hours later and they have vomited on the floor. Then skip to two days later when six more kids are away from school with the same symptoms.
THE QUICK TO PLACE BLAME PARENT
Teachers can only do so much in the hours they have their students each day, so there is an expectation that parents will take some responsibility in their child’s education. Like reading to or listening to their child read each night. However when a child is in grade 2, still can’t read and you find out they haven’t read at home EVER, the parent will be quick to blame you for the fact they’ve fallen so far behind.
THE WEEKEND DESTROYER
It’s 10pm on a Friday night and your phone pings to say you’ve received an email. Foolishly, you open it. Filled with typos and swear words, this parent is writing to you at this hour to let you know their child was upset today. Thank you for ruining my weekend!
I believe this parent has a giant whiteboard at home with the name of every student in their child’s class and they keep tally of how many awards other children get in comparison to their own child. Despite being able to give only one child the “Student of the Week” award, they will ask every week why their child has not yet been chosen and give reasons why they think the student who got it doesn’t deserve it.
THE AMAZING PARENT
For all the difficult, crazy and demanding parents, there are many amazing parents. Simply sending an email thanking you for making their child excited about learning or popping their head in the classroom to say thanks for caring about their child’s problem can make a teacher’s day. These are the same parents who read with their child, who keep their child home when they’re sick and offer to help at school. Needless to say, these parents are our favourites.
I DIDNT WRITE THIS. IT CAME FROM THE HERALD SUN ONE OF THE MANY DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS I SUBSCRIBE TO
A FUN LOOK AT THE HISTORY OF AUSTRALIAN INVENTED FOODS
14:28 Apr 05 2019 Times Read: 223
I DIDNT WRITE THIS IT COMES FROM THE HERALD SUN NEWSPAPER - ONE OF THE SEVERAL DIGITAL NEWSPAPERS THAT I SUBSCRIBE TO.
THESE are the foods synonomous with Australia, the tastes we’ve grown up with.
But did you ever wonder how the humble lamington, dim sim, pavlova, Chiko Roll, Vegemite, or Aeroplane Jelly came to be?
This is your definitive guide to Australian-invented foods and their histories.
Which Aussie food do you want to know more about? Tell us below.
The lamington has been the subject of long-term international rivalry. Picture: Mark Cranitch
Australia’s national cake — a square sponge cake dipped in melted chocolate and desiccated coconut — is long-believed to have been named after Lord Lamington (1860-1940) who was Governor of Queensland from 1896 to 1901.
But as the story goes, it turns out he hated them, calling the cakes “those bloody poofy woolly biscuits”.
But, keep in mind this is the same guy who once shot a koala straight out of a tree.
However, a Queensland history professor, fascinated with the urban legend, has spent years getting to the crux of the cake’s origin. And, he believes the cake was named after someone else.
Professor Maurice French, from Toowoomba, said there was “a lot of urban mythology about the lamington and the various places it was created — Brisbane, Ipswich, Cloncurry, New Zealand and even the remote possibility of a Polish lamington”.
While Prof French can’t definitively say who invented it, he’s narrowed it down to three contenders — Armand Gallad, the French chef to Queensland governor Lord Lamington; Fanny
A lamington smoothie rolled out for one day only, Australia Day.
Young, a temporary cook at the governor’s Toowoomba residence; or Amy Schauer, a cookery instructor at Brisbane’s technical college.
Records indicate they all prepared a version of the cake between 1890 and 1910.
The original recipe called for butter cake, but was adapted for sponge cakes when the recipe became popular in the 1920s.
One thing Prof French can confirm is that the long-held belief that the cake was named after Lord Lamington is untrue.
“It’s always been argued that it was named for the Lord, but there is a strong case that it was in fact named after Lady May Lamington, especially as most cakes are named after women.
The story behind the popular-held belief surrounding Lord Lamington, came from when the Governor had unexpected guests pop over.
The cupboard was bare apart from a stale sponge cake, so he asked the chef to improvise.
The chef chocolate-coated the sponge cake, cut it into 5cm squares and added shredded coconut because it was sticky.
The result was the lamington, which apparently the chef named after his vice-regal boss (or as it turns out, his better half).
An Australia Post stamp named after Lord and Lady Lamington.
— National Lamington Day, is July 21
— Lamington National Park exists, 75km south of Brisbane, named after the Lord himself
Vegemite, an Australian culinary specialty, is concentrated yeast extract originally made from a byproduct of the beer brewing process. Picture: Ian Waldie/Getty
You either love it hate it, but the yeast-based spread has a cult following.
A young chemist was hired in 1922 to come up with a spread make from brewer’s yeast, a rich natural source of vitamin B.
He worked for the Fred Walker Company, which later became the Kraft Food Company.
After months spent testing concoctions in the lab, “Pure Vegetable Extract” was born. Sounds delicious, hu?
Miley Cyrus with a tattoo of a vegemite jar. Picture: Doctor Woo Tattoo/Instagram
Australian entrepreneur Fred Walker. Picture: Supplied
It’s inventor was Dr Cyril P Callister, but instead of naming the black gooey spread after him, the company came up with a rather clever plan to get the Australian public behind the product — and created a national naming competition with a cash prize.
We’re not sure it would fly in this day and age, but of all the hundreds of entries, the company boss Mr Walker’s daughter came up with the winning name.
By 1923, Vegemite was in grocery stores, marketed as “delicious on sandwiches and toast, and improving the flavours of soups, stews and gravies”.
But in a case of what came first: locally-made Vegemite or the English version Marmite ... it was Marmite that already had a stronghold on the Australian market, which meant sales of Vegemite were slow.
Anyone for vegemite pizza? For one day only, you guessed it: Australia Day
Five years later, in 1928, Vegemite was renamed “Parwill”, during an advertising campaign designed to outsell Marmite.
Their slogan was “Ma might, but Parwill”.
It didn’t work, and they went back to Vegemite.
In 1936, the electric toaster made its debut ... a match made in heaven, followed by a huge surge in demand for the product during World War II.
Australian Armed Forces were buying in bulk, due to its nutritional value, and the company had to ration jars.
It wasn’t until 1954 that the ‘Happy Little Vegemites’ jingle we all know and love aired on radio.
— Vegemite trumped the meat pie as Australia’s number one food icon in 2015
— University of Queensland researchers Ben Schulz and Edward Kerr proved alcohol can be made from Vegemite following a report indigenous dry communities were using vegemite to home brew alcohol.
— It has its own day: National Vegemite Day rolls around annually on June 16
— Vegemite Way is a legit street in Port Melbourne, this pic proves it.
Cook Street in Port Melbourne was renamed Vegemite Way, because the street is home to the factory where the Vegemite is made. Picture: Eugene Hyland
— Vitamin B3 found in vegemite and beer can slash the risk of skin cancer by 23 per cent a groundbreaking study at Sydney University found.
— We’ve had a Vegemite macaroon (in Adelaide), a vegemite pizza (Deck Bar, Manly in Queensland) a vegemite martini at (Kensington St Social in Chippendale, Sydney), vegemite ice-cream at Trampoline in Southbank (Melbourne), Zumbo vegemite and avocado on toast macaroons, and Pizza Hut created a vegemite pizza with ham and pineapple
— Singer Miley Cyrus has a vegemite tattoo
Have you tried Abe’s Bagel Crisps with Vegemite?
Vegemite-caramel ice-cream is a thing. Picture: Anna Rogers
— There’s Vegemite bagel crisps, Cadbury’s vegemite choc bars, Woolworths Cabra-mite ice-cream
— Vegemite pulled an April Fool’s Day joke in 2015 announcing a 60m tall vegemite shaped jar museum
— An estimated nine out of ten Australian pantries contain at least one jar of Vegemite, with 46 per cent of us having eaten it at least once during a calendar week
— The Vegemite sandwich, a staple of Australian school lunch boxes, was immortalised in the Men at Work song Down Under in 1982. Listen to it below.
LISTEN OUT FOR THE REFERENCE TO A 'VEGEMITE SANDWICH'
A 1958 advertisement of Aeroplane Jelly.
'Aeroplane Jelly' jingle singer Joy Wigglesworth as a child (nee King), who died in 1996.
It has a special place in the hearts of all Australians thanks to one of the nation’s longest-running jingles.
It all started in 1927 with tram driver Bert Appleroth making jelly crystals in his bathtub, using gelatine and sugar.
He started handing them out along his Sydney tram route, and sold them door-to-door in his downtime. They proved a hit.
Mr Appleroth, with had formed a company with his partner Albert Lenertz, called Traders Pty Ltd, had officially launched the brand in 1927.
A year later, on a lazy Sunday afternoon, the first version of the Aeroplane Jelly jingle hit the radio waves on station 2KY.
By 1938, a five-year-old boy Joy King, became the official voice of the jingle, beating 200 other hopeful kiddies. This version is still used today.
— Planes were considered new and exciting at the time by Mr Appleroth, an aviation fan, named the brand
— One of Australia’s longest running jingles, it was played on radio over 100 times per day in the 1940s
— The first Aeroplane Jelly factory was located in Paddington, New South Wales
You can now get reduced sugar raspberry flavoured jelly. Perfect for jelly slice.
— Aeroplane Jelly enters into the Guinness World Records making the largest ever Jelly. It was watermelon flavoured and 35,000 litres.
— One of the first commercials on Australian television in 1956 was a spot featuring the Aeroplane Jelly song
— Aeroplane Jelly is the market leader of the Australian jelly industry with a 25 per cent share in the industry valued at $1121m per annum
Hangover or workplace snack: just don’t eat them on public transport.
Dim sims were invented in Melbourne’s Chinatown in 1945 by a Chinese chef William Chen Wing Young for his restaurant ‘Wing Lee’.
He went on to create a commercial version for his food processing company of the same name.
The simple dumpling style dish — which can be steamed or fried — contains seasoned minced pork, lamb or chicken (and dog, if you believe the rumours) as well as cabbage. It’s encased in a wrapper and dipped in soy sauce before being devoured.
Celebrity chef Elizabeth Chong told ABC radio her father had invented the popular fish and chip shop snack.
She said her father had watched restaurant guests particularly devouring a dish of tiny pork mince dim sum dumplings known as ‘siu mai’.
Before long he was producing the little morsels in a factory “by the thousands”, and changed the name to ‘dim sim’ because ‘siu mai’ was too hard for Aussies to say.
“They called it a dim sim because in my dialect we don’t say dim sum, we say dim sim,” Ms Chong said.
Frozen ‘dimmies’ from Kwan’s Dim Sims in Box Hill, Melbourne.
She said dim sum translated as “dot heart — foods that are so small and dainty they touch your heart, or dot your heart, and they don’t hit your stomach”.
The dim sim is not Mr Wing Young’s only contribution to our nation’s stomachs.
He also commercialised the chicken roll, which was later adapted by Australian businessman Frank McEnroe into the chickenless Chiko Roll.
However, Australian lexicographer James Lambert has discovered a reference to this popular fast food in the Melbourne newspaper The Argus, decades earlier. in 1928.
On October 13, 1928, it stated: “No Chinese meal is complete without some succulent dim sims (pork minced with water chestnuts and enclosed in paste), and such sweets as honeyed lychee nuts and honeyed ginger.”
— Australians refer to dim sims as a “dimmy” (or dimmies = plural)
— They are mainly sold in fish and chip shops, service stations, corner stores, and some Chinese restaurants and takeaway outlets
— A vegetarian version contains cabbage, carrot, vermicelli, Chinese shiitake mushroom or other vegetable fillings, along with seasoning, although these are rarely seen in commercial outlets
William Young’s “original recipe” was made of twice-minced pork, prawns, water chestnuts, spring onions and soy sauce wrapped in a custom dumpling pastry
The Chicko Roll was designed to be eaten without cutlery.
Another fish and chip shop staple, the Chiko Roll is an Aussie take on the spring roll.
The deep-fried delight has a thick, almost chewy dough wrapped encasing mutton, barley, cabbage, carrot, celery, rice and seasonings.
They were invented by Frank McEncroe (1908-1979) from Bendigo, who had many bows to his arrow having worked in catering, as a boilermaker, and in a family milk business.
In 1950, Frank bought a Chinese chicken roll at a VFL match that would change his trajectory forever.
Australian radio presenter Amber Petty with a Ford Muscle Car eating a Chicko Roll after a bet with Eric Bana.
He devoured it outside Richmond’s Punt Rd Oval, and loved how he could hold it with one hand and hold a drink in the other.
Unable to shake the feeling he could do something big with an adaptation of it, with a less crispy shell that could be made in advance.
He bought a handfed sausage machine to play around with and at first called it a ‘chicken roll’ even though it didn’t have any poultry in it, and later changed it to simply ‘Chiko’.
The product was successfully trialled at the Wagga Wagga Agricultural Show in New South Wales in 1951.
He set up a small factory in Coburg, Melbourne, and the rest is history.
By 1956, he had national distribution of the frozen version and by the time of his death in 1979 he was selling 40 million chiko rolls a year.
In 2008, a search for the next Chiko Roll chick began. Here are some of the hopefuls dressed in 70s style clothes in the back of the Chicko Roll panel van at St Kilda Beach.
— Since 1965, the advertising has featured a girl on a Harley motorcycle
— In 2015, three MPs claimed in Parliament their town — and their town alone — was the savoury snack’s true home.
— In 2009, actor Eric Bana had a bet with SAFM’s radio presenter Amber Petty, who ended up posing with a Ford muscle car while eating a Chiko Roll
— In 2008, the company began a promotion to search for a new Chiko chick
— The humble Chiko Roll was even good enough for Lady Sonia McMahon, who was spotted eating one in Melbourne back in 1972. Here’s proof.
Lady Sonia McMahon devours a chicko roll at Moonee Ponds in 1972.
Pavlova — the infamous meringue dessert with a crispy crust and soft centre, topped with fruit and whipped cream — is (sadly) definitely from New Zealand, but because it’s synonymous with Aussie born-cuisine we wanted to explain our nation’s long-running claim for it.
Make your own peach and berry pavlova, then it’s really Australian.
As it turns out, an historical argument between two countries Australia and New Zealand over who invented the pavlova was settled in 2010 by The Oxford English Dictionary.
It was named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova (1881-1931), the greatest, most celebrated and influential ballet dancer of her time, who toured Australia and New Zealand in 1926.
Pavlova’s visit to New Zealand was deemed the “chief event of 1926”.
“She does not dance, she soars as though on wings,” it was said at the time.
This very description draws parallels with the airy dessert.
Ballet dancer Anna Pavlova: 1882-1931.
Anna Pavlova in her costume.
And the first recorded pavlova recipe as ruled by the OED appeared the following year, in a cookbook called Home Cookery for New Zealand.
The term ‘pavlova’ wasn’t used, but the recipe was for a “meringue with fruit filling”.
New Zealanders say Australians copied this recipe and called it pavlova.
Pavlova expert Professor Helen Leach from New Zealand’s University of Otago, has collected 667 pavlova recipes.
“I can find at least 21 pavlova recipes in New Zealand cookbooks by 1940, which was the year the first Australian ones appeared,” the author of The Pavlova Story said.
The Australian claim is based on a recipe by Perth chef Bert Sachse, which is believed to date around 1935, created as a tea dessert for the Hotel Esplanade’s afternoon teas.
After tasting the cake, someone is said to have remarked: “It’s as light as Pavlova”.
If the Kiwis can claim the first evidence for pavlova, Australia can claim the first evidence of the common abbreviation pav, first recorded in 1966, according to Australian National University.
A pavlova can be made in mini size too.
— Anna Pavlova was born on February 12, 1881 in Saint Petersburg, Russia
— The dessert is most served on special occasions during summer
— It’s made by beating egg whites, but the marshmallow centre is believed to be down to cornflour
— The cake is notorious for deflating if exposed to cold air, the dread of many.