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The Magpie

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014   |   29 comments

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine … but ‘paradise enow’? Come off it, stop the juvenile justification as to why we live here.

Pat 'Chaff Bag' Hession

Pat ‘Chaff Bag’ Hession

Local ABC waffler Pat ‘Chaff Bag’ Hession once railed against the tiresome, cringing phrase ‘coming of age’ (COA) in relation to some latest development in Townsville (laughably, the buzzy, beaut little City Lane development garnered the ‘coming of age’ soubriquet, but with the proviso that the city would only be be all grown up if other business follow that lead).

Coming Of Age was probably among the sentiments sarcastically muttered by the locals when Ludwig Leichhardt cantered through here (along with a rolling of the eyes and ‘there goes the neighbourhood’ ) The COA phrase has been trotted out in the Astonisher ever since the first set of traffic lights were installed. Right now, apparently we won’t ‘come of age’ until the new super stadium is a reality, but there will always be new benchmarks to be reached. After the super stadium, maybe a Richard Branston space port at Bluewater for Mars travel will suddenly be needed before we can acquire our majority, and so on.

Well, The ‘Pie would like to join Chaff Bag in his war against such cultural cringe phrasing, and calls for the banning of the word ‘paradise’ to describe where we live.

(We exclude 4TO’s Steve Price from this prohibition – otherwise his store of adjectival synonyms would be halved.)

There are the obvious arguments agin calling the ‘Ville paradise – dengue mozzies, debilitating heat often accompanied by floods and the odd cyclone, insurance ripoffs, only one worthwhile Vietnamese restaurant, Ewen Jones, public transport, rip-off parking fees at the hospital, no AFL team, The Townsville Bulletin, and a world class Greek Chorus of of almost illiterate letter writing whingers (not to mention whinging avian bloggers).

Anyway, the word hardly meets the dictionary or religious criteria.

From the Oxford Dictionary: ‘ Paradise: An intermediate place or state where the … righteous await resurrection and the last judgement.‘ Note it doesn’t say ‘self-righteous’, and more than a few around here more need resuscitation than resurrection. While there may be plenty of folks awaiting final judgement down at the Walker Street courts, or out at Stuart, that is hardly the spirit of the definition.

Paradise is much bandied about by others, not just denizens of our fair city. For instance, here’s what Asif the Suicide Bomber expects when he is whisked up to paradise  …


… but it’s not quite what he’ll get …


So an upside is that no Muslim terrorists are likely to stick around this earthly ‘paradise’ of Townsville … good luck with finding one, let alone 72, virgins around here. To update Dorothy Parker’s pithy observation, ‘if all the girls in Flinders Street East on a Saturday night were laid end to end, one wouldn’t be a bit surprised’.

The ‘Pie rests his case.

The Magpie's Nest is now more than five years old, and remains an independent alternative voice for Townsville. The weekly warble is a labour of love and takes a lot of time to put together. So if you like your weekly load of old cobblers, you can help keep it aloft with a donation, or even a regular voluntary subscription. Paypal is at the ready, it's as easy as ... well, easy as pie. Limited advertising space is also available.

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