#262 – Padlocks

28 10 2014

Adrift in an endless galactic sea, the bogan can sometimes feel so small. Not even bicep curls and a gigantic house can lend the bogan a sufficient sense of scale. Then there’s the minor problem of eternity. 24 months interest free is baaasically forever, but what about after that? What about month 25, bogan?

I mean… sure, the bogan can go and get another wrist tattoo. Sweet, sweet permanency. Even the Chinese symbol for “eternity” is an option. The tattoo could also represent the bogan being tribal for eternity, or in love with its current mating partner for eternity. But, despite the best efforts of the Australian and Thai health systems, the bogan will eventually die, and its skin wither.

“How can I leave my mark forever?”, mused the female bogan as it shuffled down the BBQ aisle at Bunnings, intending to replace the other giant BBQ which it had not used in the previous three years. Lost in its thoughts, its nose collided with a vertical display of brass padlocks hung from one of the shelves. The flash of snout-pain was also a flash of inspiration.

“I’m totally going to uninstall Tinder. Promise.”

Some years earlier, on the bogan’s repeat Contiki tours of Europe, it had seen bridge railings covered in padlocks. Pure romance. Dutifully, the bogan placed  padlocks on the ironwork to symbolise the undying nature of its love for bus companions Jackson (’07), Troy (’12), and Jakcson (’12 – week two), respectively. It was European, it was classic. Just like the chic sophistication of the wok burner on the $899 barbecue. $906 later, the bogan had purchased its new padlock, and was fully equipped to confront its own mortality.

On the drive home, Twitter was informed that “I’ve dumped 3 loser guys this month, but @Trizzzztan69 is the one #yolo”.

While Tristan was somewhat surprised to hear his new fuck buddy speak so emphatically, his reluctance to burn his sexual bridges resulted in him consenting to the visit to the nearby physical bridge. Hopefully for sex. Following a thirty second recital of Taylor Swift lyrics, the padlock was snapped closed around the bridge’s railing, and Tristan’s future was sealed. Tears were shed. Tristan feared that the tears would delay sex. He was right to fear this.

Quick, what’s the Twitter handle for the United Nations War Crimes Commission?!

Although the bogan has generally negative feelings about China, the padlocking craze can actually be traced back to here, before rearing its head in Europe in the 1980s. So it’s European. It’s a trend that appeals strongly to the bogan, because of its drama and exhibitionism. Nothing can exist for the bogan unless it is acted out in public.

But by bringing this craze to Australia, the bogan has delivered a new challenge to local councils nationwide. Spooked by reports of European bridges collapsing under the weight of thousands of steel padlocks, council workers with boltcutters are tasked with routinely depriving the bogan of its constitutional rights AND its one big shot at transcending all of existence.

But that’s ok, it stops the bogan from needing to find a new bridge railing next month. And Bunnings doesn’t mind.

#261 – The Business Class Boast

23 06 2014

It was a simpler time. Back in the good old days, it was enough for the bogan to scuttle onto a cheap flight to Bali or Thailand, get its hair braided, drink Bintang or Chang, and become exceptionally sunburnt. Which is not to say that the bogan can’t still enjoy those things. Instagram now groans under the weight of filtered photos of new tattoos and scooter accidents.

But that ubiquity has become problematic for the bogan. With everyone crashing scooters and “totes tripping balls” on watered down magic mushroom shakes, the bogan no longer feels like the special petal that it so craves being. As it stood in the Jetstar cattle pen one day, the bogan’s beady eyes spotted a velvet rope far up a hallway. The bogan knew that it was on the wrong side of the velvet rope, and was displeased.

The door behind the rope lacked maxtreme signage, but rumours persisted that it was a portal to a world of unlimited booze, “happy ending” massages, and celebrities. The bogan wanted in. Into the world of special gold tags on luggage, exclusive lounges, and seats behind that super VIP curtain at the front of the plane. Acting on another rumour, the bogan marched up to the customer service counter and declared that it wished to receive a free upgrade to the business class lounge, and a business class seat on the plane.

The request was not granted.

The bogan's promised land, which resembles a hybrid of an RSL and a Harvey Norman

The bogan’s promised land, which resembles a hybrid of an RSL and a Harvey Norman

The bogan returned to the clammy huddle inside its holding pen, vowing vengeance on a world that didn’t understand the bogan’s VIP requirements. Revenge came quickly, with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram being informed that Qantas Club is a pack of cunts. The bogan’s crimson rage was as intense as it was fleeting. It mutated into a beige paste of shame and unrequited longing, for the bogan wanted desperately to be behind that velvet rope. $485 later, the bogan became Qantas Club’s newest member, and hurriedly deleted its cunt tweets.

The lounge itself was pleasant, though altogether too sedate for such a glorious velvet rope triumph. The bogan, normally swift to complain about a lack of maxtremity, seemed strangely unbothered. It set itself up on a couch, and held aloft its Qantas Club card, along with a glass of 12 year old whisky with coke. Then a selfie. And another selfie. A third selfie. Then 10 minutes searching for an Instagram filter named “$wag”. All of its friends were commanded to be totes jelly of the amazing lounge. The $485 of value thus secured, the bogan waited for its plane.

Astonishingly, the cabin crew led the bogan to the economy seat specified on its ticket. “I’m a fucking Qantas Club member; I demand to see your boss!”

The request was not granted.

The bogan gulped from its massive can, and contemplated the catch 22 irony of its plight. Its job as an Executive Account Coordinator Manager Consultant Specialist did not pay well enough for the bogan to afford the 400% price premium of sitting at the front of the plane, yet the real managers at the company sometimes got to fly business class for free.

To ward off these thoughts, the bogan placed its Qantas Club card on the fold-out tray table, and commenced searching for a camera angle that gave the illusion of expansive space. It was time to gloat to social media about its free business class seat upgrade.

#259 – Necks

30 01 2014

The neck has spent years out on the bogan frontier. It was only after sweet tribal sleeves, some mad calf tatts, and some sick chest and back pieces of dragons that the bogan would start nominating its neck as  prime real estate for the newest visual representation of its soul. Similarly, it has been willing to have any number of its orifices (orifii?) violated in preference to turning up somewhere with a plum-coloured hickey bruise on its neck. Yes, the bogan’s neck has always been sacred, save for being used as an occasional hanging place for shark teeth and Tiffany logos. Even Pandora and Livestrong were unable to colonise the space from their stronghold on the bogan’s wrist.

But that was then. In 2014, the bogan has mutated once more. It is currently unable to open either a liquor bottle or a social media platform without contemplating its neck, and nominating it. Like a smug giraffe, the bogan will marvel at its own neck, and declare that none of its friends have a neck quite so splendid. Which is to say: bogan is filmed swiftly consuming alcoholic beverage, and then nominates someone to do likewise. Being the creature of excellence that it is, the boganic spiral towards disaster commences.

Neck being used to full potentialJust as the bogan giddily embraced planking in 2011, a fad that led to an unfortunate death from a 7th floor Brisbane balcony, so it will presumably be with neknominating. In the case of planking, the slower mobile data speeds and smaller data caps of three years ago meant that the bogan was generally limited to merely posting a photo of itself planking on Facebook. But the arrival of 4G has allowed the bogan’s creativity to flourish. It’s not simply about consuming the beverage, the twenty seconds of footage is also a thrilling platform for a talent/stupidity contest. Can the bogan think of something fucking idiotic to do before/during/after having a drink? Yes it can.

Careful scriptwriting is now required, with intense pre-video deliberations occurring to determine the more theatrical components of the video. New footage from the field reveals an audacious neknominate effort that involves hanging off the bottom off an airborne helicopter without a harness, and smashing down a delicious 375ml of Victoria Bitter. In another, a bogan nails its scrotum to a wooden board, then consumes its drink. No female bogan has yet had the balls to emulate that feat, but it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that one will choose to give a bit of lip in return. And the Mexican wave of boganity continues.

Just as Australia’s rampant prosperity creates ever more bogans, it also taketh them away. Darwin is not only a city where bogans ride crocodiles and make the NT News Australia’s finest newspaper, it is also an –ism that will spare no corner of the continent. The Abbott Government’s plan to water down the National Broadband Network stands out as a beacon of hope to save the bogan from itself. With excessive data speed comes an uncontrollable deluge of bogan exhibitionist daredevil idiocy, which has the capacity send the bogan the way of the Tasmanian devil. So, next time you see the bogan risking its nek, nominate Tony Abbott to strangle its interwebs for its own good.

#256 – Superfluous Ingredient Descriptors

19 03 2013

It is just plain wrong to categorise the bogan as a straightforward, simple creature. There is nothing simple about naming a child “Mhadeziyn”, attempting to perch atop a revolving system of four different interest-free finance facilities, and clutching seventeen different mutually exclusive conspiracy theories about foreigners, allergies, and corporate fat cats.

That’s right, the modern bogan is a seven-sided Rubik’s cube of mystery. Gone are the days where it would happily lunch upon a humble beef burger, a packet of salt and vinegar chips, and a can of Sunkist. This caused much hand-wringing in snackfood and fast food boardrooms around the nation. “Had the bogan become less ravenous?” one asked. No, the bogan had not become less ravenous. “Had the bogan become more tasteful?” another well-intentioned staffer enquired. No, the bogan had not become more tasteful.

A Contiki Tour in three 200 gram boxes.

A Contiki Tour in three 200 gram boxes.

The boardroom clocks ticked loudly, and a few board members shuffled their papers to distract from the fact that the meeting had ground to a complete halt. Others in the room awkwardly looked out the window, wishing for an urgent reason to be elsewhere. Out the window, down in the car park, a bogan was doing doughnuts in a fluorescent ute. Attached to the ute was a trailer, on the trailer was a Jet-Ski, and on the Jet-Ski was the bogan’s friend, riding with no hands. Seconds later, the Jet-Ski rodeo bogan was thrown off the Jet-Ski, landing in a puddle of its own elbow cartilage. Clearing his throat, a board member addressed the room. “The bogan has become much more deluded”. Yes.

Six weeks later, the snackfood company re-released its salt and vinegar chips. As “Rock Salt and Balsamic Vinegar”. Salt from exotic rocks. Vinegar from exotic… balsams. The bogan didn’t mind that the price was 50% higher. After all… rock salt! Sales soared. The constantly mutating vagaries of the bogan mind had once again been skewered by nonsensical branding. Soon, no bogan wanted a beef burger unless it was an Angus Beef Burger. And “blood orange” flavoured soft drink was seen as both more maxtreme and more prestigious than stupid old plain orange. It was thrillingly irrelevant whether there was any discernable difference in ingredients or taste. This is because the bogan wants to remain deeply within the comfort zone of its palate, whilst still projecting the illusion of fashion and progress.

The bogan craves these superfluous ingredient descriptors, and consuming something pointlessly, functionlessly overwrought adds additional layers of meaning to its existence. An Ed Hardy t-shirt for the mouth. If Arnott’s releases a gourmet version of Shapes called “Cracked pepper, Mediterranean feta, French onion, crispy chicken, flame grilled steak, roasted garlic and peppercorn” (all of these terms have appeared in Shapes names in recent years), the bogan’s biscuit-purchasing fervour could  only be heightened further if the product was also dubbed “limited edition”.

The bogan is a moron.

#255 – Living Once

23 01 2013

The bogan understands the universe. From the big bang that started everything approximately 13.75 billion years ago, to The Big Bang Theory that started on Channel 9 on March 12, 2008, the bogan soars over space and time, like a golden, winged Jet Ski with the ability to transcend all of existence.

While we're at it, these Keep Calm posters can fuck right off tooContemplating its own constitutional right to eternity, the bogan intermittently sought refuge in the afterlife offered at its local megachurch. Returning to its McMansion, it would then ponder Buddhist reincarnation while focusing its eyes on the various pieces of Buddhist iconography that it had commandeered as domestic decoration. As the complexity of rebirth and multiple lives began to reveal itself to the bogan, it realised that it would need at least four of its child’s Ritalin tablets to complete this train of thought.

The bogan, it did not sleep that night. Pacing between its rumpus room, its family room, its lounge room, its formal living room, its theatre, its dining room, and its informal eating area, concepts flew like lonely comets in the vast expanses of inky black sky. Karma, immortality, birth, death, lifespans, heaven, purgatory, rebirth. The first light of dawn brought no more relief than the three massive cans it had gasped down since 4am. It would need to drive its car. Driving its car would bring freedom. The ability to speed away from its troubles.

But going 80km/h didn’t work. Paralysing thoughts of universe still present. 100km/h. A slight improvement in wellbeing. But the bogan did not aspire to a slight improvement in its wellbeing. It wanted maxtreme wellness. To be so well that it shat multivitamins. At that moment rays of sunlight scrambled over the Bunnings Warehouse on the horizon, and everything was illuminated in the bogan’s mind. All of these big ideas about reincarnation and eternal life could be completely scrapped. You Only Live Once.

“Fucken YOLO!!!”, the newly liberated bogan whooped, plunging its foot into the accelerator pedal. The subsequent 8 minutes between this moment and the flashing lights of the police car were pure existential bliss.

YOLO neatly distils boganity into a blunt, four letter weapon that the bogan can use to attack anything that has a passing resemblance to a good idea, and embrace anything that is profoundly idiotic. Angry Angus burger with 56.5 grams of fat? YOLO. Interest-free finance with an interest rate of 20%? YOLO. Saving a portion of its salary each month? Nah, YOLO. 150km/h therapeutic morning spin through the suburbs? YOLO. Back alley Thailand tetanus tattoo of YOLO in gothic font? Well… YOLO. The bogan only lives once, and is determined to make that once as brief as possible.

Temporarily deflated by its run-in with the local constabulary, the bogan rolled back to its McMansion at 5km/h below the speed limit. Still jittery from the heady mix of Ritalin, caffeine, guarana, adrenaline, and a $400 fine, it resolved to pull a sickie, and soothe itself by watching the hilarious adventures of Leonard, Sheldon, and the whole Big Bang Theory gang on its Blu-Ray 3D LED LCD HD HDMI USB 100HZ TV. There would be no more troublesome thinking that day.

#251 – Gates

7 03 2012

The bogan has spent the last decade or so browsing for pornography via Microsoft operating systems, and the best part of five years lowering the general utility of social media via the very same platform. Its enthusiasm for Bill Gates’ recent endeavours to end Polio and AIDS has been far more muted, meaning that this is not the Gates that bogans love most. Bogan outrage towards the possible entry of non-bogans into Australia has often prompted the bogan to express desire for a gated fence to be installed 50km off the coast, but not even this is the bogan’s favourite gate. In those countless, fleeting moments where bogans are at their most agitated, they require a different gate altogether.

Your average, garden variety bogan knows and cares very little for the events that occurred in an American hotel in the early 1970s, which effectively caused the only resignation of a US President. Indeed, its first mental association towards the name “Deep Throat” came courtesy of aforementioned Gates’ operating system, and the bogan’s white-knuckled forays into digital adult entertainment. The other legacy of this American political scandal that did impact profoundly on the bogan’s lexicon was the realisation by journalists that things sound more notable when suffixed with “gate”.

Last week’s ill-advised but unremarkable babble about a soldier on daytime television was notable to the rest of us because it drew our attention to the fact that George Negus needs to sack whoever told him that this was the next leap forward in his career. But for the bogan, it became an exciting saga called Yumi-gate, where its initial rage at the sayer of inane rubbish spiraled into a week-long serial of drama, hatred, and eventual benevolent forgiveness.

Unsurprisingly for such a repetitious creature, this is not the first time that journalists have slammed the gate on an otherwise uninteresting story for the bogan. Countless other half-stories in years gone by have been made into complete stories by an ambitious journalist managing to paper over yawning chasms of relevance, significance, or rigour by stapling on this shithouse suffix. The fact that we can’t even list any of them is testament to how forgettable and tenuous this maneuvre truly is.

Ok, here’s one. In round 5 of the 2006 AFL season, a match went for 20 seconds too long because the siren wasn’t loud enough for the umpires to hear it. A goal was kicked during those 20 seconds, causing SIRENGATE, which journalists, football and non-football alike, trilled about giddily for the following 96 hours. No heads of state handed in their resignation, but for the bogan, Sirengate changed their lives forever. For a week.

One more. During the half time entertainment for the 2004 Super Bowl, Justin Timberlake tore off part of Janet Jackson’s costume, revealing parts of her breasts that had been seen before, along with a circular shield covering the part that was less well known. This created a furore known variously as Nipplegate, and Boobgate. Journalists couldn’t agree on what to call it, but knew that it had to end in gate. While uninterested in the Super Bowl, the bogan spent much time reviewing the footage online, as well as speculating in food courts, lunchrooms, and Irish-themed pubs nationwide about what “what this all means”, a phrase it borrowed from an earlier, more credible George Negus.

Do not show this entry to a bogan. It will trigger gategate, gategategate, gategategategate, and so on, a feedback loop that will exponentially gain enough idiotic mass to suck the universe into itself.

#250 – Donald Trump

20 12 2011

The bogan briefly enjoyed having a ranga in charge of Australia, but even bogans eventually became tired of jokes about red hair. Caught in a flurry of boats laden with carbon, live cattle, and something to do with Greek debt, the bogan needs a new leader. A strong, soundbite-savvy, one-dimensional aggressor to set everything right in the bogan’s suddenly flustered existence. Someone with enough Real Action potential to reverse any recent, highly distressing changes to Facebook’s layout. With a federal election still some time away, Tony Abbott is not in a position to save the bogan. So the bogan turns to someone with not only red hair, but funny-looking red hair. New (old) jokes become possible (unavoidable).

Donald Trump is everything that the bogan wants from being a bazillionaire: he started by investing in residential real estate, and then became max celeb. Eventually, he scored a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, walked past countless velvet ropes, and now co-owns the Miss Universe beauty pageant. The bogan is also inspired by the idea that Trump gets to be an arsehole to people without repercussions. The 65 year old New Yorker was in Australia recently to record a cameo appearance in Celebrity Apprentice, reminding the bogan that its reality television-driven admiration of Trump is based on solid bogan philosophy.

While the bogan will normally glass any cunt who even utters the term “layoffs”, there are few ways to make a bogan happier than showing it footage of Donald Trump arbitrarily firing people who are striving for reality television excellence. Aside from the TV cameo, and appearances at a glorified business lunch, Trump’s core message to Australia was bogan catnip. It was almost like he knew of the bogan male’s ongoing failings to screw hot Asian chicks in Australian bars. “Screw China”, Trump thundered, referring to the partial pricing power that Australia’s commodity producers currently enjoy over their exports to developing countries in Asia. Screwing a billion Chinese people is like… a billion times better than screwing just one.

Just as Hugh Hefner has grown plump on mass-marketing trashy products carrying a logo that represents high end decadence, Trump is also unsatisfied with merely selling luxury to the very wealthy. $12 Trump cologne, “Trump Ice” bottled water, Trump vodka, Trump steaks (Trumprump?), Trump magazine, a forthcoming Trump online casino, Trump neckties, Trump home furniture, even short courses at the illegally named “Trump University” have followed. Trump sells the idea that looking rich is the pathway to immense wealth, an idea that appeals to bogans more than an interest-free, Hummer-branded Jet ski endorsed by David Guetta. Well, maybe not more than that. But, despite his periodic lawsuits, bankruptcies, and scandals, the Donald looks set to retain his hegemonic relationship over the bogan’s mind and wallet. Trump that, bogans.