People of Melbourne (Australia)!
What the hell do you call yourselves anyway? Melbournians? Melbournites? Melbums?
Don't answer that, I don't really care.
All I care about is that you come to the Melbourne Writers Festival at the end of the month to see ME!
I should warn you that I haven't done any preparation for the actual festival since I've been too busy downloading TV shows and movies for the eleventy million hour flight. In fact, I plan to watch the top ten highest-grossing Australian films of all time, which are as follows:
1. Crocodile Dundee
4. Happy Feet
5. Moulin Rouge
6. Crocodile Dundee II
7. Strictly Ballroom
8. Red Dog
9. The Dish
10. The Man from Snowy River
It must annoy the crap out of Australians that not only is "Crocodile Dundee" the world's favorite Australian movie, but the "Crocodile Dundee" franchise actually comprises 20% of the top ten. Here they are trying to put on a serious writers' festival and all anybody can think about when they talk is "That's not a knife. That's a knife:"
Boy, filmmakers sure knew how to reduce people and places to cultural stereotypes back then, though I'm disappointed they didn't also work in a neurotic Jew and an Asian man doing martial arts.
Oh, and in case you're wondering, "Mad Max" comes in as only the 44th highest-grossing Australian film of all time...eleven places behind "Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles:"
As for Paul Hogan's culturally insensitive version of beloved children's story "Peter and the Wolf," presumably that never made it to the silver screen:
It retained the traditional plot but transferred the locale to the Australian Outback. This recording was withdrawn soon after its release because of unflattering portrayals of Australia's aboriginal people and is now considered "out of print".
Though maybe I can score a copy while I'm down there, because it sounds sublimely awful.
Speaking of Paul Hogan-esque vigilante justice, someone recently Tweeted this at me:
("That's not a note. This is a note.")
I'd love to know how the stake-out turned out, though the note writer has a pretty poor sense of irony:
Yeah, see, that's actually not ironic at all because it's exactly what you'd expect. Who knows better the importance of locking a bike than a bike thief? Really, it would be ironic if the thief didn't lock the bike and the owner had stolen it back from him.
Presumably he and the thief enjoyed a robust debate on the subject when the thief finally returned.
Though for the cutting-edgiest of bike theft prevention methods you have to travel to Boston and environs. Not only do they have cardboard cops to guard your bike, but a reader also tells me that the police in Brookline are now combining the awesome power of GPS trackers and stickers to catch bike snatchers:
Brookline Police have also begun handing out stickers to cyclists that say “This Could Be A Bait Bike” and can be placed on their bikes as a deterrent to thieves. Hayes said U-locks tend the be the most effective locks for preventing theft and police also suggest using a combination of U-locks and cable locks to maximize protection.
Wait, you mean U-locks are more effective than stickers? No shit. Anyway, I think a thief can safely assume any bike with a "This Could Be A Bait Bike" sticker on it is not in fact a bait bike--though it would be pretty ironic if the thief took a bike with "This Could Be A Bait Bike" sticker on it and it did turn out to be a bait bike. And then he forgot to lock it.
At least I think that would be ironic.
Now I'm confused.
Meanwhile, here's how the thieves do it in New York (via Streetsblog):
Uh, if you find this "stunning" then you haven't lived in New York very long. In any case, here's what happened:
Watson’s video shows a man police said is Guzman rolling up on his own bicycle — and eyeing the other bike chained to a pole.
After leaning his bike carefully against a railing, the thief cuts a $50 cable that holds Watson’s outdoor chairs and tables together.
He then takes a cafe table and carries it to the pole.
Climbing up, the thief spends several minutes using a hand drill and screwdriver to remove the parking sign, occasionally looking over his shoulder.
Nobody approaches Guzman.
No shit nobody approached him. People have things to do here, we can't worry about what the guy standing on the table is doing. Only someone recently arrived from Portland would stick his or her nose into this situation:
("Uh, excuse me, is that your bicycle?"--Earnest bike dork from Portland)
Though it would have been great if someone else had stolen the thief's bike while he was lifting the other bike off of the pole. And it would have been doubly great if the bike he was stealing was a Budnitz.
But would it be ironic?
At this point I have no idea. All I know is that this person could use a new saddle:
If you told me that 500,000 years ago a Neanderthal fell into an icy crevasse while hunting and that this saddle is made from the preserved remains of his scranus then I would have absolutely no trouble believing you.
Lastly, remember the guy yesterday who put a farty motorized trailer on the back of his bike? Well, here's a guy who can go 50mph downhill on his electric bike, which big fucking deal:
So basically his shitty electric bike can go downhill at the same speed as a decent human-powered racing bicycle. Well done. By the way, it's interesting to note that the inventor from yesterday was wearing flip-flops:
While the guy who built an electric bike that can exceed "Fred Woo-Hoo-Hoo-Hoo!" speed is wearing Crocs:
So what is it about inventors of motor-assisted bicycles and bad footwear choices anyway?
I guess they don't bother with actual full-coverage shoes equipped with a closure system until at least 100mph.