Friday Bachelor of Bogan

24 12 2010

Hello and Merry Christmas. As we take a week or two break and swim in our enormous coin piles that have resulted from record-breaking book sales (apparently we’re HUGE in Denmark), content yourself with the weekly dive into the nether regions of the bogan psyche with B(Bo).

Cheers and, again, Merry Christmas from the TBL team. May all your travels be safe and your beers imported.

The bogan will spend Boxing Day:

The ACCC this week forced the manufacturers of Power Balance bands to admit that their claims about the product are baseless. The bogan believes this is due to:

The worst thing that happened to bogans this week was:

Since the government has cruelly taken away the bogan’s ability to derive max power and flexibility from its power balance band, the bogan will have to resort to:

#56 – The Post-Christmas Sales

4 01 2010

The weeks leading up to Christmas were expensive but pleasurable for the bogan. Many bogans get drawn into the endless loop of trying to outdo their other relatives in terms of the scale, shininess, or brand naminess of their gifts. This, predictably enough, was funded by interest free credit card debt at a competitive 20% interest per year. Christmas Day came, the gifts were exchanged, the sugary parts of the Chrisco hamper were consumed, and bogans nationwide retired to their beds on the evening of the 25th, exhausted, broke, and contented.

This period of contentment lasted from 11pm on December 25, to 3am on December 26, when the bogan female pounced out of bed, a glimmer in its eye. Shopping time. The Boxing Day sales at department stores were due to start as little as two hours hence, and it is of vital importance to the bogan female that it heads the waiting throng. Once upon a time, Boxing day was associated with hosting alternate family gatherings, relaxing at the park with friends and loved ones, or getting kicked out of bay 13 at the cricket. Today however, it is entirely, resolutely, tied in with spending immense amounts of money for products no one needs at surprisingly negligible discounts.

The clock ticked past 6am. The lights were on in the store, there were employees milling around in there, but the doors remained closed. The bogans were growing increasingly agitated, united in their outrage at having their consumption delayed by tens of seconds. At 6:02, two security guards approached the doors from inside, and began instructing the bogan mob in how to gracefully enter the shopping centre.

Without warning, a particularly ox-like bogan female barreled at the door, and the security guards soon relented. The bogans surged, foaming at the mouth and desperately snatching at any item within a 2 metre radius of a sign saying “(up to) 70% OFF!” Skinny bogans wriggled their way between the fat ones, tall ones reached over the top, and the fat ones jutted their ample rumps outwards to create a quivering exclusion zone around the precious discounts.

On Boxing Day, the gladiatorial bogan is able to fight to impulse purchase items it does not want, at prices that are cheaper than what it won’t pay. It justifies this on the basis of being broke from Christmas, necessitating frugality, and any discount is by virtue of its discounted nature, a saving.  While all of the things it set out to purchase are either not on sale or already gone, the bogan is determined to not leave this feeding frenzy empty handed.

At 8:45am, the bogan limps out of David Jones, sporting a black eye, a torn t-shirt, and a David Jones bag containing an electric mango slicer, a Von Dutch bumbag, and a set of carving knives by a company it has never heard of, and can not pronounce. And only $220 poorer.

#55 – Chrisco Hampers

24 12 2009

“After months of excited waiting, it’s finally arrived. OMG. A massive hamper full of festive goodness from Chrisco! Sure it’s a couple of weeks later than they said it’d be, but kids, come quickly – our magical Christmas is saved!”

This has been the triumphal squawk emanating from bogan nests around Australia as, one by one, they receive their big baskets of shit. After years of piously soothing advertisements from a middle aged woman with a vague resemblance to Mrs Claus, bogan families have fallen for Chrisco en masse. With festive food hampers ranging from $370 to a galling $1250, this clever company has somehow convinced bogans that waiting to have a massive basket of easily available foodstuffs sent to them is better than immediately getting the actual items they want from the supermarket up the road at half the price.

The key to the appeal of Chrisco is the idea of making direct debit installments all year, in order to have the hamper arrive for FREE* sometime in December. Clearly, this is a gift from the good people at Chrisco, massive earlier investment notwithstanding. As the bogan appears willing to invest $210 over 9 months in order to have a slab of Bundy and Coke appear magically on its doorstep, Chrisco appears willing to make enormous profits from their gullibility.

As the bogan ‘plans its finances’ in advance, it allows Chrisco to sit on a lucrative mountain of bogan bucks for months before it has to actually purchase inventory for the hampers sometime in October. In order to deal with pesky questions about value, Chrisco sincerely informs the bogan about the stresses and strains that abound when navigating the supermarket in December, as though there’s some kind of bogan demilitarized zone between the dairy aisle and the turkey fridge. Instead, it’s OK. Chrisco is here to help. Thank heavens for Chrisco.

The Chrisco company originally formed in the UK, where it was moderately successful. While Britain is riddled with boganesque Chavs, the founders recognised that, with its apparently far more limited grasp of accounting, the bogan populace in the antipodes could make them rich beyond their wildest imaginings. They moved to New Zealand, and from there, the company crossed the Tasman to storm the main bogan stronghold in 1997. Today, it fleeces over a million bogans per year, and turns over a cool quarter billion. This phenomenal cash harvesting often goes unnoticed, as Chrisco is a seasonal business without prominent shopfronts, and bogans rarely read anything with numbers.

In late 2007, a systems failure caused the company to fail to deliver thousands of hampers prior to Christmas, which made the bogans both furious and elated. Furious, because they had to go to the supermarket to chance their luck at Checkpoint Charlie. Elated, because it allowed them to conduct furious vox pops with 22 year-old Today Tonight reporters about a new, and enormous, rort. However, while bogan rage is intense, a crippled attention span causes it to also be brief. A month later, the bogans in question had already signed up for an extortionate 43 week installment plan for Christmas 2008. This is the distillation of everything that bogans love about buying things.

Like some kind of retarded Friedmanite, the bogan views Chrisco as a good deal. This is the bogan economy. In the belief that if something is paid for in installments, and purchased in bulk, it must be sensible commerce, the bogan parts with $4.70 a week. For 10 months. To get a slab of Bundy and Cokes and a towel.

As presented on their website, though, the hampers appear full to the brim with discounted factory seconds. This mass of consumerism tends to cause an eye twitch in many of us however, and we can find the ludicrous price/image conflation confusing. But it’s OK, TBL is here to help. Here is a breakdown of a couple of the simplest beverage hampers on offer:

Coca Cola Hamper:

Contains 2 slabs of coke (supermarket value $35), and a promotional beach towel, hat, Frisbee, and bag. Typically this stuff is only a few bucks each (or free) when coke puts a promotion on, because it’s basically advertising.

Chrisco price: $137.80, or ONLY $3.21 PER WEEK! Only $3 a week for all that cokey Christmassy goodness? Thanks for the 300% markup, Chrisco, Christmas will be magical!

Beers of the World Hamper:

Contains six 6-packs of mid-priced beer (supermarket value $15 each, total $90), and a 5 litre mini keg of Heineken (supermarket value $30).

Chrisco price: $202.80, or ONLY $4.73 PER WEEK! Only $3 a week for all that beery Christmassy goodness? Thanks, Chrisco, for only charging $80 for delivery. Christmas will be magical!

This is the most genius company in Australia. And bogans bend over and take it with a smile. Merry Christmas to you all.

TBL is going to take a break for a week, as we sit back, drink some hard-earned local label beer in a little-known inner city haunt while wearing ironic T-shirts. We will then head out and conduct some primary research into bogan mating season (i.e. New Year’s Eve), and return in 2010 with renewed anger, renewed vitriol, and a renewed mission to bring to you, the people, the truth behind the bogan menace. Merry Christmas!

“Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.”