Thursday, September 4, 2008

A short history of Tasmania on reality TV (and the worst celebrity anecdote ever)

It's really been a bad day - not for any real reason, although we did have an auditor at work, which has made me realise that my smarm to work rate probably needs some adjusting. I've really been having this sort of pre 30 freak out about my health and it was compounded by that poor bugger from Claremont who broke his neck when he fell off his mates shoulder at the football club best and fairest. I can't explain it - it's just some sort of weird foreboding feeling that I have at the moment. Maybe it's just because Jason Donovan is bringing out a new album. I was pottering around with some Jill Sobule on the IPOD, and decided that this midlife crisis wouldn't be solved with a sports car or a new relationship but with a tasty cheese sandwich. In the shop in front of me was a befuddled, confused old woman who was clearly violently distressed. Obviously, I thought, she must be struggling in life, as she was hunched over and incredibly depressed looking. With all the courage in her frail old body, she held out her hand, looked up and said..."What the hell happened to your fruit salad!" - she gave the girl behind the counter a tremendous spray. The poor girls response that it wasn't popular was met with "Well it was popular to me!" - logic you have to agree with. I'm just amazed this woman didn't start talking about her human rights being violated because she didn't get her fruit in a cup. It did make me think a lot more about when I get older, how I'm going to let myself become the grumpiest old man in the world - I'm going to answer all those bland and disgusted faux nice questions like the ones you get at Boost Juice that ask in a disgusted voice "how are you doing" will be answered with "I'm a Genie in a bottle, you've got to rub me the right way" (the right way being like I have cholera apparently) and since no one will remember the song, I'll probably get shot a filthy look, but I won't care, because I'll be old, and not caring. Then I'll ask where my fruit salad is...

So the other that happened today, while I was skimming down the boulevard of broken fruit salad listening to Mark Ronson, I saw in the window of about twelve different shops support posters (much, it has to be said, in the manner of a lost dog poster) for this Tasmanian girl, Amanda, who's on Australian Idol. Now, I haven't watched Australian Idol for years, so I can't possibly comment on whether she's Cher or a Chantoozie, but obviously, good on her for having a go. However, I don't know the best way to rally some support for a reality TV show is to put a poster in the window that doesn't have the phone number to ring and vote for her. To be honest, I thought she'd gone missing and her photo was in the window to jog peoples memories. I don't think we need another Popstar though (even one that might also be on a milk carton). A few years ago, Simon from Kingston made the final five of Scan'dul'us, the not quite as good as Bardot but a lot better than Scott Cain winners of S2 of Popstars, and his parents, for what it's worth, own the local newsagents where the service is always sharp and to the point. It also has on the shelf "Q Magazine pays tribute To The Who!" hidden up the back, and I think it's been there for about five years. Scan'dul'us thus came to Channel Court in Kingston to perform all their hits - Me Myself and I...Make Me Crazy...um...that song they did on John Safrans show? I went down to get the paper (honest) and there they were, surrounded by girls who will now never admit they went to see them, and they were on a big stage colliding with each other in poorly rehearsed dance routines that made Bruce Springsteens dancing in the Dancing In The Dark clip look like Ginger Rogers. One of the girls nearly fell into the crowd. I hope it was Tamara. It was as this point that a little Aussie battler in hipster heans and a Metallica T-shirt took it upon himself to inform everyone in the crowd that he had seen enough and that reality TV shows couldn't produce real music with real emotion like real pub rock (he obviously didn't see the singer at The Central). After all, they couldn't play their own instruments, or write their own songs. He lost me when he started saying they weren't talented like Powderfinger but he was working quite the self righteous head of steam, as he adjusted his beanie and pouted disdainfully in the direction of the stage. It was at this point that his Mum, who had been standing to the left of him, gave him a swift clip around the ear, and told him to stop interrupting everyones enjoyment, and his sister shook her head and said "Get out of here DUH BRAIN!". It got the biggest cheer of the day. We sure were told to buy a lot of a particular brand of cola though. Incidentally, someone told me once Simon ended up so much in debt to Channel 7, the network now own 50% of the local newsagents, but I can't confirm that (wait for it) Scan'dul'us rumour...gold, as always...

The apex of Tasmanias flirtation with reality TV was undoubtedly when Reggie won Big Brother - who could forget the timeless TV pilot "A great Reggie Adventure" where, Challenge Angry style, you could send Reggie off to do dares? The pilgrimages to her chip shop? The bakery in Moonah that made Reggie biscuits and won an award because of them? My main memory of this confusing and strange time was Reggies street parade through Hobart. Now, because her mainland media commitments, she didn't actually get back to Tassie for, like, six weeks or something by which time the moment had sort of passed. But our local radio tools, Kim and Dave, still pushed for her to get a parade through the streets of Hobart - we had girls at work who were actively scrag fighting to try and get their lunch times changed just so they could see Reggie on her big tractor trailer type thing waving to the peasants. When I had my lunch, it was as the dregs of the parade were conducting a post mortem in the mall, and arguing over the merits of the parade. There was this one girl, who was quite large, and she had decided the best way to honour the parade was to dress up as a chiko roll. She had put a lot of work into the costume, even if she had to write CHIKO ROLL on the costume in black pen just to confirm what she was meant to be, and her flannel shirt was still visible through the, er, Chiko part. It was fine to wave at Reggie dressed as a Chiko Roll, but now she had to walk through the mall to get the bus, at which point, an unemployed hoodie virtually leapt out of nowhere (or Just Jeans, same thing) to give her a massive pay. "Why don't you do MORE with your LIFE!" he said, mouth agape, eyes flashing and darting all over the place. The girl had the not unreasonable comeback of "Nergetfurked", but he wouldn't let up, and chased her up the mall, having a go at her for not doing more with her life - at which point, I noticed that the hoodie was holding in his hand a best of Taylor Dayne CD, and that his jeans were falling down. The only reason the Chiko Chick was safely able to get the bus back to Gagebrook was because his jeans fell down and he had to stop and pick them up. Don't ask me what it all means though, I voted for Chrissie...

Of course, living in Tasmania leads you to have the most piss weak celebrity anecdotes - our celebrities are very local, and no one really famous ever comes down here, so all our brushes are massively with the Z list, such as "hey didn't you used to go out with the girl in the dry cleaning ad?"- and this is mine. Even worse than Kaye Wilkinson the newsreader tripping over in the mall, even worse than Tim Lane getting badgered by a drunk Carlton fan on the Jetstar flight to Melbourne...oh the depths are yet to be plunged...I played netball against Reggies ex, Adrian. Someone call New Idea huh? Now, when we played netball against him, Reggie had left him, and every week when he played netball, someone would have a go at him, and he was pretty grouchy every time someone made a "cashed in her chips" or "it's time to go Adrian" reference. By the time our team played them, he had clearly had enough, and was throwing his weight around, and he was a pretty big boy. He shoulder charged a girl on our team (I say girl, she's way more blokey than me - she likes cars, I like bubblegum Pop, go figure) and while she didn't go down, it was a pretty big hit, certainly as tough as he could muster. Obviously, this required someone to get some retribution, and...well, they weren't going to leave it to the Britney fan were they? In fact, it was the same girl who, about five minutes later, absolutely cleaned him up with a bit Dipper style hip and shoulder right to the point of his chin. Naturally, she was called for contact, but fair is fair. And down he went, not quite like a mighty oak falling down the ground, more like the gentle decline of a Dannii Minogue album - down he went in overacted installments, almost pivoting as he fell on the ground. We weren't that impressed with his efforts, and continued to play netball as if nothing had happened, at which point, a small, tiny voice cut through the Eastern Indoor Sports Centre air, poetic, lyrical, a bit girly...with a rallying cry for the ages..."awwww...dowwwnttt..." he said, sounding like the most broken man in the world...

It may have been a piss weak celebrity anecdote, but at least it wasn't I went out with the dry cleaning ad girl...boy would my face be red...

4 comments:

grocerystoredates said...

wait, you voted for chrissie? no, wait, you voted? really? on big brother? on, you know, a reality television series? wow. never met one of your kind.
in all seriousness though, when i'm old, i'm certainly not buying the fruit salad. i don't know quite yet, but i'm thinking cake will be a solid staple.

squib said...

That Beckettian Chicko roll story is too funny

Kath Lockett said...

I'm with you on being a cranky old pensioner part. Around 2035 you'll find me wearing a comfy velour tracksuit, running shoes (Homy peds can get stuffed), yelling at tne young uns to "Pull your farkin pants up!" I can't wait...

Oh and rest assured, fame doesn't visit Adelaide too often either. Most of us are still pissed off and cringeing (or both, if we're double jointed and doubly offended) at Amber Petty being offered a top radio breakfast gig *purely because she was one of your gals' bridesmaids*. Oh and Ryan Fitzgerald who appeared on a Big Brother season, played a handful of AFL games and is dumber than a dried up dog shit.....

Miles McClagan said...

No, I didn't vote for Chrissie (it was an obscure Simpsons reference, "don't blame me, I voted for Kodos"). The only reality TV person I've ever voted for is Amali Ward, and I'll get to that shortly...

I think I'll eat a nice sandwich - old people seem to love a nice sandwich.

There wasn't enough in Beckett about chiko rolls. I thought it was a terrible oversight.

South Australia had Anne Wills though didn't they? She was quite the local identity? The last time I was in Adelaide, i got on one of the jet boats, and the captain of the jet boat said "Oh, Nicole Cornes, she hates this boat!"...we went...er...OK...Fryzie and Amber petty should do a speaking tour, Jacko and Capper style - what a treat!