Look, I know you’re probably snowed under, racing around town in hot pursuit of the elusive ham, the manuka honey and lemon myrtle ice cream with which to glaze it, or tucking a giant frozen bird under your arm and sprinting away from the ruck towards the checkout, executing a couple of haughty side steps for the festive fun of it.
I know you’re probably getting a little bit flustered, getting halfway home from the shops and discovering that you’ve been driving a shopping trolley and your car’s back in the car park at Casino. Safely home, you’ve probably got MC Notorious Wiggy’s Christmas Album cranked max while you wrap the children for the presents and wonder whether you can substitute parsnips for peaches in a trifle.
That’s why I know the last thing you need is a fatuous ‘Christmas Message’ from a ‘Community Leader’. So, you won’t get one from me. Instead, as a ‘Person of The People’, I thought I’d just let you run the show yourselves with a bit of Bullgoose Q and A.
Is it better to give than receive? Ernest Query, Dyraaba.
Not really, except if the socks were too small, or a hideous colour.
You’re obsessed with Nissan Cedrics, pastel houses and Steely Dan. Squinty Eyeliner, Casino.
That’s not a question.
You’re a pedantic ponce. S. Eyeliner, Casino.
That’s not a question either.
Why are you obsessed with Nissan Cedrics, pastel houses and Steely Dan? Squinty E, Casino
Check out my column on Cedrics. Pastel houses have put Bonalbo on the architectural map, and Steely Dan is music for my ears, feet and brain. And anyway, my Dad told me to have preferences, not obsessions.
Is it true that all your columns are 75-115% true? Jonty Swagger, Mallanganee
Yes, that is 75-115% true.
You’re just playing silly buggers. Jonty Swagger, Mallanganee
That’s not a question.
%$&* you! ‘You Know Who’, Mallanganee.
That’s not… oh, never mind. Next question please.
Are Wes and Alice Piddens real? L’Toyer Brontifoscu, Nimbin.
As real as you and I. Well, I don’t know if you’re real, but I am.
What about Big Minch and Little Minch? (And I’m as real as it gets. Any realler and you could light a match on the seat of my aura). L’Toyer, Nim-town.
Cool, Toyster. Yep, Wes and Allie have two sons. Allie tells the story that when they were babies she referred to them as ‘Miniatures’, later shortened to ‘Minches’. The joke is on Allie, since both boys are big units.
Do you believe in Christmas? Nick Santos, Lapland.
Nope. I believe in families being together and folks rediscovering each year that it’s not so hard being nice to other people.
Who is Johnny Ham? Beverly Familiar, Tabulam.
Johnny was an ex-bullocky, WW2 Digger, my childhood mentor and, having pressed on hard after losing the use of his right arm, a living lesson in willpower. He had distinctive turn of phrase. For example, for mild emphasis he might say, By the holy smokin’ ghost, mate! Or sometimes he’d shorten it to, Smokes!’ or Ghost! Also, Gawd love us, mate, he had an unbelievable appetite for salt. Dinkum.
Is Bullgoose your real name? PJ Lumpy, Busbys Flat.
Yes, I was given the birthname Bullgoose in a moving ceremony during which many of the participants wore clothes, and after which some remembered the details. Apparently, my parents were very taken with the scene in Ken Kesey’s masterpiece, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, where, upon arrival for a stretch in a mental hospital, R P McMurphy inquires, Who’s the head bull-goose loony around here?
What’s your favourite Christmas song? Elve-is Presently, Elve-angowan.
Short answer: anything sung by my granddaughters.
Longer answer: I refuse to sing anything with Lord, Saviour, Adore, Glory, Hosts, Heaven or Virgin (!!!) in it. A couple of those carols have sweet melodies, but that’s no excuse. I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus is cute, but my pick would, of course, be Steely Dan. Despite the jaunty sleigh bells, this one always makes me cry.
Oh, here we go! You’re as bad as Wes. What’s your bloody Christmas message? Alice Piddens, Bonalbo.
Thank you, Alice. My message: We’re all in this together, so make some space for other folks.
A Christmas lesson to us all.