Canberra Confidential: In search of the secret sling…

Fresh Air 300dpiCC has just experienced first hand the bureauractic doughnut, in which a simple enquiry goes the full circle without ever being answered.

See if you can follow this: TAMS puts out an effusive press release extolling the virtues of New Year’s Eve at the National Arboretum.

So we send them a gentle enquiry wondering why the department’s media resources and implied endorsement of the ACT Government are available to a contract caterer staging a profit-driven event on New Year’s Eve.

Amid the blah-blah response is the revelation that the arboretum “will receive revenue” from the event.

Well, that is interesting; so back we go to ask what’s the revenue-sharing arrangement, how much will they get from the NYE knees-up and what is the arboretum, given it is publicly owned, budgeting to receive over the year from this arrangement?

Suddenly, the commercial-in-confidence card is played, no figures forthcoming and we have turned the full circle and none the wiser. But like rust, CC never sleeps!


Guess who I just ran into…

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“CITYNEWS” snapper-at-large Silas Brown’s global odyssey has landed in India and, with characteristic nonchalance, he sent back this photo to our Civic nerve centre captioned only: “It’s a small world”, having bumped unexpectedly into holidaying ACT Property Council poobah Catherine Carter.


Sad ‘Times’, for Jack


“CANBERRA Times” editor-at-large Jack Waterford’s address to the local Society of Editors’ Christmas knees-up turned the evening into something of a downer. According to a dining snout, he started well with some punctuation jokes, but fell into a morass of misery about the future of his beloved paper, revealing publicly for the first time that it is sub-edited in NZ and confirming that the classified advertising is taken by a phone room in the Philippines (so much for local jobs). He predicted the paper would outlive him, but not by much. Given Waterford is at the door of his seventh decade, CC thinks he may be being overly optimistic.




Up close and personnel

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AND we start the year with another dopey sign. This one is at a formerly beautiful now progressively derelict site in North Canberra that insists: “All visitors must”. We don’t disagree, so we suggest “…be able to spell better than us”.

List of laughs

HERE are the winning submissions from the latest annual “Washington Post” contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternate meanings for common words:

Coffee, n. The person upon whom one coughs.

Flabbergasted, adj. Appalled by discovering how much weight one has gained.

Abdicate, v. To give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

Esplanade, v. To attempt an explanation while drunk.

Willy-nilly, adj. Impotent.

Negligent, adj. Absentmindedly answering the door when wearing only a nightgown.

Lymph, v. To walk with a lisp.

Gargoyle, n. Olive-flavored mouthwash.

Flatulence, n. Emergency vehicle that picks up someone who has been run over by a steamroller.

Balderdash, n. A rapidly receding hairline.

Testicle, n. A humorous question on an exam.

Rectitude, n. The formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists.

Pokemon, n. A Rastafarian proctologist.

Oyster, n. A person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

Frisbeetarianism, n. The belief that, after death, the soul flies up on to the roof and gets stuck there.



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