To incite jealousy or admiration in a bogan, you don’t need to do something better than them, you just need to do it bigger. Bill Taylor realised this in 1971, when he purchased a modest 23 hectare pineapple farm. Rather than figuring out a way to grow a better tasting pineapple, he erected a 16 metre high fibreglass one out the front. 30 years later, it’s listed by the National Trust for its services to roadtripping bogans.
The Big Pineapple is not a one-off, it is part of a curious set of oversized objects scattered around the nation. They include big oranges, big Merinos, big bottles, and big barramundis. Devised by clever businesspeople as a lure for bogan bucks, installing a big thing outside a place of roadside commerce has proven to be genius. Indeed, the bogan has come to see these big things in a similar light to the Egyptians with their pyramids – majestic and mysterious monuments to their ancestors. In the case of Australia’s big things, however, it is usually a tribute to a bogan 20 or 30 years their senior, who is an old fag because they don’t have a Southern Cross tattoo.
Typically, a local district’s big thing relates to a local crop or industry. The visiting bogan has no interest in sampling the local delicacy massively immortalised in concrete and fibreglass, for it filled up on an upsized Quarter Pounder meal out on the freeway 30 minutes prior, and is suspicious of unprocessed food. It will, however, insist that one of its friends take a witty perspective-based photograph that gives the illusion of the bogan holding, pushing, humping, or devouring the big thing in question. The bogan rarely misses an opportunity to visit a big thing, and is convinced that the more of them it sees, the better it will understand itself and its country. The bogan is not interested in the fact that big things are not a uniquely Australian phenomenon, and is likely to regard anyone suggesting so with a combination of confusion and loathing. Australia’s first big thing (the Big Banana) was inspired by a big pineapple in Hawaii in the early 1960s.
With this patriotic ritual concluded, the bogan is now ready to spin its Chevrolet’s wheels in the carpark, and blast the newest Ministry of Sound Annual out of its open windows until it finds the nearest freeway onramp.