Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Hands off the Barbie

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Sunday (Maroochydore, Australia)

Hands off the Barbie

Article excerpt

LIKE about 50 million of you, I spent part of Australia Day down at Mooloolaba Beach.

I haven't seen that many people on the one piece of sand since 1965 when some little bloke dropped his Iced Vo-Vo in the sandpit at Stanthorpe Kindergarten, sparking a free-for-all that left the playground strewn with bodies.

So you can understand that I was a bit flighty in the crush down at Mooloolaba, knowing we were just a dropped Iced Vo-Vo away from absolute carnage.

I was perched in the shade watching the passing parade when a few things occurred to me.

1. How do groups of teenage boys, obviously under 18, manage to buy cartons of Jack Daniels?

2. When did bikinis, face paint and fake tattoos become our national costume?

3. What the hell does C[pounds sterling]Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, OiC[yen] mean?

4. When did I become so old?

Don't bother answering Co they're all rhetorical questions except the one about the Aussie chant which I find mindless, meaningless and embarrassing.

Anyway, as I stood in the shade of a pandanus tree, guarding the picnic blanket from marauding hordes and keeping the mother-in-law from sticking her foot out to trip out-of-control teenagers, I realised young people have hijacked our national day.

I understand that, like Anzac Day, the future of the event relies on our youth embracing it but I worry that the way we are going, Australia Day 2050 will be more about bikini competitions and beer drinking than flag-raising and honours lists.

See, I've become old.

Thankfully, I didn't see any violence down at Mooloolaba this year but there was the potential.

I'm not talking about rival gangs of drunken yobbos arguing over who was the most Australian.

Or girls in bikinis wrestling on the sand over whose boyfriend could drink the most beer.

I'm talking about one of the most potentially volatile situations known to Aussie men.

The situation that's caused more conflict than religion and politics combined.

I'm talking about Barbecue Interference Argument Syndrome (or BIAS, as I like to call it).

Female readers might be scratching their heads right now but I reckon most blokes will be nodding and saying C[pounds sterling]oh yeah, I know what he's taking aboutC[yen]. …

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