I wrote this for The Age in 2008 and the wouldn't publish it. Isn’t this newspaper about varied voices, rigorous discussion and dissecting the important issues that affect us all? Isn’t Melbourne the place where we love a chat and are not afraid, indeed we relish a stoush, an argument and a heated discussion about what’s going on in our world no matter how close to home and uncomfortable it may be? Isn’t Melbourne the culture capital, the coffee capital and the chinwag capital of Australia and weren’t we recently universally recognized as mad for words, bang up for ideas and not afraid of rigorous debate when UNESCO named Melbourne as it’s second city of literature. Why Melbourne? Because we have more writers living in our town, more bookshops per head and because we devour more books, newspapers and magazines than anywhere else in this sunburnt country. And we’re proud of it.
IT'S that time of year when parents begin wringing their sweaty palms about where their child should start school next year. I laughed like a drain when I heard reports of parents at primary school open days with clipboards. I didn't believe it, of course, until a mate told me that several of her mother's group were guilty as charged. "With clipboards?" "Yes, with clipboards." "To check out a school?" "No, to check out about six schools." At this point I fell off my chair in hysterics. "So tell me, what are these mothers (and it's always mothers stressing about this occasionally fathers jump on board in solidarity but are never (perhaps I should pur the word rarely in there to hose down the trolls) the initiators) trying to find in a school?" "Well, Dev, they are trying to find the school that is going to turn their child into a genius." BINGO. So if they can't be a genius maybe their kid can be the genius they might have been.
Deck the halls with aggro and folly.When mum's in meltdown, 'tis the season to tune into candlelit soapie karaoke..... T'WAS THE NIGHT before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, because mum was chucking her annual Christmas Eve spastic. "You lazy, useless, selfish kids. Oh no, don't get up. Don't get off your fat, ungrateful backsides and help your mother wrap the presents, peel the vegetables, vacuum the house, mop the floor, clean the windows, fold the clothes and set the table. You just sit there watching television while I slave my guts out so you can all have your fancy day tomorrow. Don't worry about your mother and her bad back, gammy leg, dodgy hip, splitting headache and (slightly louder) inoperable brain tumour the size of an eight-year-old child. I'll eat the burnt chop, sit on the broken chair in the draught. God forbid you think of anyone else but yourselves."
Nicola Roxon and all involved are today's heroes after this magnificent triumph for victims of domestic violence. This incredible justice has been met with tantrums from some, who I can only assume are abusers or sympathetic to abusers because they conveniently prop up many of their beliefs and prejudices. These people assert changes in the law will lead to an 'avalanche' of false claims by vindictive partners and that there are 'millions' of false rape and abuse claims. By women.
I'VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE a dentist and my dentist has always wanted to write comedy. He's one of the funniest people I know. I keep telling him he should do a one-man show called Dental As Anything. He wants to call it Game On Molar. Our conversations generally begin with respectable topics such as kids, television and current affairs, then pretty rapidly disintegrate into dental erotica, nasally delivered erectile dysfunction solutions and anal ozone (don't ask).