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The Magpie

Saturday, October 18th, 2014   |   62 comments

Oh, dear, what has The Magpie started. A new joke craze going around Townsville, inspired by the most unlikely person. You can join in.

And it seems that The ‘Pie’s effort at a meaningful television commercial promoting Townsville might be paying off, with the strong chance that our favourite son, Thursto, could become the official Face of Townsville.

So who will be Lozza Lancini’s new mystery ‘national retailer’ tenant in his soon to be renovated Flinders/Sturt Street property? A very curious rumour turned up during the week.

Also, a Little Night Music accompanied by a young lady of rare talent – it’s enough to have Mozart decomposing in his grave.

On the national scene, Wingnut Abbott has found a new theme song in the Bee gees ‘I Started a Joke’. This follows his bit of crass political populism in promising to ‘shirtfront’ Russian President Putin at the G20 bunfight over the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over the Ukraine.


As the Bee Gees falsetto’ed

‘But I didn’t see,

That the joke was on me, oh, no’.

Some bloody joke. It gets worse …


‘I looked at the skies,

Running my hands over my eyes.’

The thoughtless chest-thumping from the PM may also have confirmed another part of the lyric

‘And I fell out of bed

Hurting my head from things that I’d said.’

Very apt, The ‘Pie hopes it bloody-well hurt heaps, what an embarrassing twerp.

Bentley, as is his wont, saw the absurd side of it.

huff puff flat copy

All about as diplomatic as a grenade in a bowl of porridge. It was left to two of Canberra’s female power players to put things in perspective.

Tanya Plibersek

Tanya Plibersek

Tanya Plibisek suggested such a grandstanding bit of sporting analogy was totally inappropriate with more than a score of Australian families still in deep shock and grief over the murder of their loved ones.

Julie Bioshop

And Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke in reasoned diplomatic terms to President Putin in Europe this weekend, apparently winning a promise to help make a final visit to the death site safe for international investigators. No wonder Ms Bishop has had a spectacular climb in the ratings of preferred Liberal leader. Still well behind Wingnut and Turnbull, but closing in on Hockey. This overnight effort could further narrow that gap.

In state politics, where nothing surprises anymore, bookies are in a quandary about forming odds for the three horse field for the Palmer United Party pre-selection race in the state seat of Gaven. When Alex Douglas became the latest PUP polly to have a hissy fit and resign from Palmer’s canine capers, the search for a replacement candidate was instantly on. Three contenders have emerged, two nameless and the third someone called … umm, what was it now, errr, ah yes … Anna Palmer.

Clive and candidate

Clive and candidate

But just because she is the wife of party founder, funder and head honcho Clive, makes her no sure thing. Or so he says. Hubby avows he will leave the choice to the pre-selection panel of three to ‘choose the right candidate’.

‘It’s up to them to make the choice,’ quoth Clive, no doubt hoping the selection panel will not be swayed by public speculation, and will concentrate on speculation on their own personal health, well-being and future prospects. Such an open field is a damned headache for bookies, but an initial quote had both unnamed candidates at 500 to 1, and Anna Palmer, who has no political experience outside the family dinner table, a very reasonable 600 to 1 – ON.

That PUP is running Queensland state candidates raises another question…

David Moyle

David Moyle


… will we again see party animal David I’ve Been Everywhere Moyle posing like Christ taking a selfie with some of his ratepayer disciples? Or will the Mad Katter do a Monty Python black knight (‘C’mon, is that you’ve got?!?’) and get Davy boy to run again for him.

Although The ‘Pie makes merry with Mr Moyle when the opportunity arises (i.e. every day of the week that ends in a ‘y’), it must be said that he went close to knocking off the ALP for second place last time around.

Screen shot 2014-10-18 at 1.34.22 PM

He was just 694 votes shy of capitalizing on the protest vote against Anna Blight. His 23% looked respectable against Labor’s 25.72%. Different scenario this time around, and is almost certain for the incumbent Kid Crisafulli to battle it out against Labor’s Corralee O’Rourke – although a PUP entrant will make life interesting for them both..

ALP candidate Coralee O'Rourke

ALP candidate Coralee O’Rourke

Mrs O’Rourke had a cunning ploy to kick off her campaign, recently holding her first rally in the seat of Townsville, and giving potential attendees wrong directions. But as the boss of a kindergarten and a child minding centre, she should be right at home in George Street if she happens to get up.

But the thing to watch is if its going to be a cat and dog affair involving a KAT and a PUP. Wonder if the last result was enough to fool KAT into stumping up some more campaign dosh.

Speaking of animal crackers, we’ve just had an insight into why hyenas laugh – they love taking the piss out of us humans.


This pair have been housed in a Japanese zoo for a couple of years or more, with the keepers eagerly awaiting some funny business beside bouts of laughing. Eventually, they got sick of waiting for any baby action, and decided on a health check. It was then that they found out they had two boys. ‘It is hard to examine hyenas’ genitals’, said the head keeper.

I’ll bet it is.

‘You touch me there one more time, Hirohito, and you’re geisha won’t have anything to laugh about for a while.’

‘Ah, so solly, no raffing matter, solly.’

Anyway, the Japanese branch of eHarmony are now scouting for suitable gals who like a good laugh and a bit of hyena hijinks.

Since time immemorial, there have joke crazes. Maybe the oldest is Knock Knock, then there have been Tom Swifties, (‘This knife is sharp,’ Tom said cuttingly’) and the inevitable’how many to screw in a light bulb’ genre.

But now, Townsville can claim its own little patch of mirthdom with our home brand humour.

Anthony Simpo Templeton

Anthony Simpo Templeton

The new joke craze is known as Simpo Says, with people making up the best headline typical of Astonisher reporter Anthony Simpo Templeton. This has been prompted by Simpo’s uncanny ability to proclaim and promote a negative in any story. Like the time he reported that the Blakey’s Crossing project would cost not the original $24M but a revised $14M. To everyone else a great saving, but to Simpo ‘project could’ve been done sooner if council had done their sums properly.’ They were state government sums, sonny.

Then we had this Mates Rates headline this week … clearly suggesting corruption between council and developers – but not even the remotest evidence was offered. And to boot, ratepayers will not have to foot any bill … there isn’t any bill. Goofy stuff all round.


So Mongrel the Barrister kicked off the new joke genre the other night. He reckoned if Deputy Doo Dah Vern Veitch walked on water across Ross Creek, Simpo’s headline would be ‘DEPUTY MAYOR’S SHAME – CAN’T SWIM!’

Deirdre McFondle chimed in with ‘Unpatriotic!! Double Amputee Refuses To Stand For National Anthem’, and Peter Pluperfect said it should be followed the next day with ‘RSL says he hasn’t a leg to stand on’. Thank you Oscar Wilde.

Then there was ‘Missing Pencil Sharpener: Council in Crisis’. Of course, while named in honour of our ace exclusive revealer, Simpo Says isn’t restricted to his area of expertise (snigger).

Iditor Pinocchio Heywood can’t be far away from “Circulation Steadies at 5000 weekdays… Daily Readership Now 300,000 (according to emma.’)

Mind you, competing with the real thing ain’t gonna be easy, but feel free to send in your Simpo Says.

Moving on, although the following is more like rambling on – it offered for what it’s worth – and you know the answer to that.

Laurence Lozza Lancini

Laurence Lozza Lancini

Lozza Lancini, currently recovering from a neck operation down on the Gold Coast and said to be out of action for the next month, recently announced a national retailer tenant for his newly purchased and soon to be renovated buildings along Flinders Street (formerly Mall). It was no names no pack drill, but business types around the place are pondering the strange but persistent rumour that it is fact Woollies. Lozza owns the purpose-built building that the supermarket currently occupies, and it is known that the Lancini group is pretty tight – as in cosy – with the giant shopping group.

Why or how could such a thing be possible, if it is?


Well, it is said that if Woolies want to move to take advantage of whatever offer is on the table, their current building is directly opposite the Walker Street council bunker. Could it be a prime site for all those white collar council workers being pulled in from the outer suburbs into a more compact operating area, to complete the transition of amalgamation? Rather than a purchase, just the costs of a reno and a long lease on favourable terms, maybe.

All sounds like a stretch to The ‘Pie, but that is what is out there. Didn’t ring Lozza about it, poor bloke has enough of a pain in the neck right now. Hope you’re back on deck soon, sailor.

Johnathan Thurston - the Face of Toiwnsville?

Johnathan Thurston – the Face of Toiwnsville?

You’ll recall that TV ad a couple of blogs ago, where The ‘Pie featured Johnathan Thurston fronting a commercial for the city and its attractions. There’s been a fair bit of positive feedback, but now The ‘Pie had learnt that JT is thinking over a suggestion that he become the face of Townsville, a sort of ambassador at large.

That proposed commercial and the rationale was done before JT snaffled his latest Dally M award, so now The ‘Pie reckons there’s no excuse for the top brass around town not to seriously try to persuade our most famous sportsman and citizen to take on the role – it would work on all sorts of levels and enhance the city’s profile and reputation no end.

Johnathan is an easily likeable, modest bloke, too, another big bonus. Great family man, too. This profile just keeps getting better.

C’mon, folks, make it happen, and The ‘Pie’ll make the TV commercial for you. Really, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Enough now it is away to Poseurs’ Bar, and to see the bar’s new mascot, Piddles the Poodle. Piddles was made an exception to the ‘no dogs’ rule (Mongrel the Barrister has already made a tasteless joke about that regarding Deirdre McFondle, and his voice has just returned to the lower registers but his crassness shall not be repeated here) … as I was saying, Piddles was made an exception when he demonstrated a superior degree of toilet training.

I'm a bloke - why is the seat down?Yeah, like Poseurs’ has toilets that clean … no, taken at home.

But Piddles isn’t the only rare talent on show tonight, the whole bar has gone crazy for a little classical music. Guess we all know Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, just about everybody has tapped their foot to it one time or another. Now  check out here what this young lady uses to keeps time to it … and no tittering, please.

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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