January 29, 2011

SawHole reporting from Stocko this Saturday

Sawhole lives in a suburb of Newcastle called Stockton. But she calls it Stocko because if you are an Australian, you tend to an a O to the end of most things.
Stocko appears to be under attack, so we sent Sawhole out onto the streets to investigate.

Those who know Stocko would think the most likely attackers would be Baby Boomers in big caravans but no - these attackers are Australian wildlife!

It all started with my 10-month-old puppy. We like to take her to the beach and, as some of you know, canines are banned from most beaches, but anything goes in Stocko, even mutts on sand. That's all well and good, except people, please pick up your dog shit. Sand and poo does not maketh a sunbaker's paradise.

So you can imagine my surprise when Lily-Rose came up to me at the beach and proudly presented the dead puffer fish in her mouth.

Not only are these suckers ugly, they are also deadly. According to National Geographic, there is enough toxin in one pufferfish to kill 30 adult humans, and there is no known antidote.

All I could do was squeal and yell: "Drop it" at the dog. There was no real danger because the thing was dead but I do enjoy a dose of melodrama. I can't even tell you how ugly this thing was. As Nanna Freda would say: "It was as ugly as a hat full of bums." Think Jabba the Hutt - decomposed.

Lily-Rose also likes to play with the dead blue bottles on the beach. To those not from Australia, these delightful sea creatures can sting you into next week. As you would be aware, the blue bottle jellyfish is known as the Portuguese Man of War. Nasty. Luckily, Lily's friends were also dead this time as well, so no real danger again.

However, I screamed again at the sight of Lily's presentation. Like a fishwife.

London's traditional fish market was frequented by such types who were known as "the wives of Billingsgate". "They dressed in strong 'stuff' gowns and quilted petticoats; their hair, caps and bonnets were flattened into one indistinguishable mass upon their heads. ... They smoked small pipes of tobacco, took snuff, drank gin and were known for their colourful language."

We have these too in Stocko. They hang outside the supermarket with their hideous, ungroomed dogs. My dog is a Staffordshire Terrier and therefore does not require grooming, so I can feel superior to the owners of the ill kept.

My final two observations were dangerous and, in fact, deadly because these suckers were alive.


Once again, Lily was with me and we also took Miss Charisma along for the ride. We got as far as the end of the street, when we heard the shark siren. It was excitement plus in the neighbourhood as we gathered to watch the swimmers in their heroic struggle to shore. Actually, they walked but why let the truth get in the way of a good story? Then....nothing happened. The lifeguard assures me there was a shark. "Ten people in the surf club saw it." Hey, she knows more than I, so I will not doubt her word.

Finally, the most hideous and ridiculous sighting - a brown snake. This nasty bastard is the second most venomous snake in the world. So what does the old man who found the snake outside the local cafe do? He pokes it with a stick and tries to fight it off with a plastic bag. I don't think Steve Irwin would have tried that but then Steve Irwin has never been to Stocko, as far as I know. I think the snake realised it was not a fair fight or got bored and left.

The residents of Stocko are a peaceful crew. We like beer, $11 steaks and not picking up dog poo. We do not deserve to be harassed by these deadly animals. Please leave us alone and head to New Zealand.

Over and out.

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