Monday, December 24, 2012

A holyday letter to a Victorian minister ...

(Above: the Olympia at Bombala, Victoria, click to enlarge)

The pond breaks its holiday silence for
an open letter
to Her Majesty's right honourable Victorian government

His - or her - right honourable right royal Minister for roads
(or whomever goose bears similar title and function)
c/- Department of Roads
(or whichever geese bear similar bureaucratic title and function)
in the grand and glorious state of Victoria
(commonly known as the place to be or the garden state)

Dear right honourable right royal Minister
(if the pond may be so bold)

First may the pond congratulate you and the people of Victoria on some of the picturesque towns you can encounter wandering the back roads of your fine state.

The Olympia theatre at Bombala, for example, is a fine example of a rural structure surviving into the modern age.

As you might guess, the pond's tour of the backroads took it through this fine hamlet, and others like it.

Along the way we also saw some strange, surreal and wonderful sights. Like a water tanker in the middle of nowhere hosing down a road, with no sign of oil, sand, dirt, gravel or other spillage to explain what it was doing, except to calm down a hundred metres of tar experiencing stress in the heat (and never mind the kilometres of heat-stressed tar before and after that little patch).

But we did find loads of gravel, heaped on top of an alleged interstate highway, as if carefully prepared for unwary holiday makers. A potential death trap, and guaranteed to ensure material damage to cars and possibly their occupants.

At this point, would it be unseemly, impolite, to ask if the Victorian government has entered into an arrangement with windscreen manufacturers or windscreen replacement services? Has the government entered into a scheme to boost insurance premiums?

We just ask in all innocence, because it seems the most likely explanation for tons of loose gravel to be flung across a main road like confetti.

It was about the point that my partner remarked that gravel like this was sure to cause mayhem and destruction and loss that ... the windscreen shattered.

Now the pond notices that you have a fine way of addressing wayward, recalcitrant motorists. Like "slow down stupid" or "drive safely you bloody idiot" and suchlike friendly modes of address. Like the whole state has turned into an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

The pond immediately warmed to these messages, and their tone and their intimacy. Please allow your scribe to imitate them.

You stupid bloody idiots, gravel on the roads in the holyday season? What were you thinking, you pathetic morons? You hopeless dingbats and drongos, an interstate highway shouldn't look like a war zone, especially when stupid Victorian drivers are moving at speed on the opposite lane.

You useless cretinous imbeciles, scattering gravel like confetti and you dare to address me as a stupid, idiotic driver?

Never mind, with broken windscreen (but no benefits to local windscreen services, we'll see to that) we reached the Prom. But what did we find? Why more potholes and warnings and derelict roads than you'd expect a bloody idiot to assemble in a month of stupid Sundays.

So this is how it ends in Victoria, lost in a gigantic pothole.

Oh and can it also be noted that if you attempt to join the vast world wide interrtubes in rural Victoria, the service is roughly equivalent to a wet wick on a firecracker in a sodden Melbourne rain storm.

Ever thought of enthusiastically embracing the NBN and all it might offer your dumb, stupid, idiotic citizenry as they try to join the twenty first century? Instead of spending all your time blaming the Federal government for your own policy failures?

Anyway, dear right honourable right royal minister, it''s been a splendid holyday thus far, and due thanks must be extended to your wonderful government, but engaging hours with Victorian rellies now loom.

Enjoy your holyday, and remember to instruct your department to spread more gravel on each interstate highway at appropriate intervals. It guarantees great fun, and the development of great survival skills, and ensures travellers in the state will return home with tall tales of how they narrowly escaped disaster, and thankfully only suffered a broken windscreen, smashed suspension, ruined duck, and such like.

And, it almost goes without saying, it's also the only proper way to prove to stupid, idiotic drivers that you can be just as stupid and idiotic.

With kind seasonal regards and happy holidays,

your humble servant
Dorothy (click your heels twice and you might be in Kansas looking at the fucked roads there)
c/- the garden pond
where loons assemble to vent their spleen

UPDATE: a kindly reader has pointed out that Bombala is actually in NSW, and accused the pond of inaccuracy worthy of a Murdoch hack.

Indeed, and all the pond can say is that there is not a Victorian town in all of Victoria, or all of Christendom for that matter, that could summon the charms of Bombala, and it's a kind of meta-irony that the pond should resort to a NSW town rather than the peculiar charm of Cann River or Bell Bird or poseur pretenders to be home of Bed of Roses, because it turns out that Victorian roads are like a meta-hell from Mad Max, and apparently locals protest to the Deputy Premier and nothing happens and life goes on, under the strict regime of a parsimonious incompetent cost-cutting dismal government.

So take Bombala as what Victoria might have been once, but is now in peril of losing forever, because once Victoria had it all over NSW in the matter of roads and maintenance. Not anymore, not that anyone from the Victorian government will ever read this rant ... much like it manages to ignore its actual constituents ... and more on the dismal state of the state anon ...)
(Below: another fine Bombala view)

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