Monday, January 23, 2012

The Doust Files - Albany Advertiser 17/1/2012

This column has been written standing up, on my feet, keyboard on a lectern, screen elongated to its full extremity on a desk.
Why? Pain. Oh, I can hear the sympathy cries. Please, let me speak.
The thing is, like a lot of men, I am not good with pain. What do I do, scream, lie still for hours, call for a glass of water, whimper for a sandwich as soon as the working woman arrives home from her daily  grind?
No, that’s not me. My history with pain has not been a sensible one. Like many country blokes of this and previous generations, I have tended to ignore, push through and do battle with those bits that hurt me.
So, when I woke up this morning with a knife in my left side, I did what any country bloke worth his pepper would do, I grabbed the handle and stuck it in further. In other words, I headed for the garden, took a spade, called it by its name, and went for it.
Of course, as soon as I stopped for breakfast, the pain returned full of vengeance, vitriol and a fierce determination to stop me in my track and make sure I couldn’t find another one to walk on.
All this reminded me of the time I damaged my knees while distributing a small booklet I had written called “How to lose an election”. Instead of stopping for the day I decided to complete the job while hobbling and running at the same time.
Eventually I collapsed and every so often the knees remind me of my idiocy by giving way beneath me.
Finally, to close, a few words of advice for blokes just like me from that great Australian philosopher Oliver Newton John, who once, when in pain, sang: Listen to your body talk.
And it would have helped if she had added: Then go and see your health care professional.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Doust Files - Albany Advertiser 3/1/2012

As always at this time of the year I offer up tips for tourists and locals alike. I begin with those for our very welcome visitors.
1 – Do not drive down York Street. This year’s Christmas Pageant was moved to the Middleton Beach precinct and half the floats did not arrive. It is believed they are trapped in a roundabout time-warp and every so often other vehicles are sucked into the void and old timers tell us none of them will ever be seen again.
2 – Before you head off to Middleton Beach it is best to eat and drink before leaving your accommodation.
3 – Remember, this is not a mining town, our City Council is a victim of itself and the GFC and our local MLA is not in the ruling party and spends most of his salary on Collingwood Football Club paraphernalia, so we need cash. If you fail to spend all your holiday money there is a collection tin at my place.
Here are my tips for the locals, those long suffering folk who put up with weather worse than Melbourne to ensure visitors have the infrastructure with which to enjoy time off from some place up north we have forgotten the name of.
1 – If a tourist says they think our weather is glorious tell them it won’t last, that the week before they arrived all hell broke loose and even worse weather is expected after they leave.
2 – Do not invite them into your home, once they realise we live here without air-conditioning they will want to come back.
3 – When meeting visitors on the street, twist your face and scream names of vegetables as though in the grip of Tourette’s disorder.
If you require any further advice don’t call me because I am on my annual holidays in Dalwallinu.