Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Doust Files - Albany Advertiser 25/9/201


A lot of people who once loved Germaine Greer now think she is a grumpy old woman. Having recently spent four days in her orbit I feel ready to offer a few impressions.

Germaine and I attended the Brisbane Writers’ Festival where she gave the opening address and proceeded to ridicule the festival, Brisbane and all Queenslanders.

Twitterdom during Germaine’s talk was littered with counter insults from audience members.
As for me, I was amused. I even laughed out loud on three occasions. Why? Because whenever I see Germaine on the smaller screen or hear her on the radio I am forever reminded that she was in the Cambridge Footlights Review with a plethora of English comedy greats.

I always imagine that Germaine is having fun with us, and at our expense. Even if she isn’t, it makes no difference to me.

Two nights later she sat next t Bob Katter and on the same side of a debate: Is reading the bible good for you.

Bob and Germaine argued yes, it is. I’d like to reveal  Bob’s take but I can’t. His incoherent ramble was unintelligible. Germaine, however, was funny, eloquent, wise and, at least once, a bit silly.

But there’s more.

I watched Germaine walk and it lead me to believe that she is in a lot of pain and the day after her opening address I was lucky enough to share a table with her in the writers’ green room.

Over lunch and conversation I decided she could be a bit grumpy, somewhat arrogant, condescending and, yes, a bit of a know it all.

For all that, I still look forward to her next comic turn.

And, by the way, this is my final column. Thanks for listening.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Doust Files - Albany Advertiser 11/9/201

[Penultimate column for The Advertiser]
Before I leave the house I am very clear about one thing, that when I travel things will go wrong.

This same understanding applies to life, but it seems the odds increase dramatically when I’m on the road.

It came as no surprise then, to hear my name announced over the Virgin PA: Would passenger Jon Doust please approach a Virgin staff desk.

There were only two of us at Gate 35 waiting for the Brisbane flight and she didn’t move from her seat, so it had to be me
Here’s what happened: somewhere between the security screening and the Virgin Lounge my wallet dislodged itself from my person, was retrieved by another person, relieved of its cash component and dropped to the floor, where it was retrieved by yet another person who took it to a Virgin receptionist.

All of that is, of course, guess work. All I know is someone gave my empty wallet to a flight attendant.

Whenever I lose money I always like to assume that the prick who took it was a prick who could do with a dose of luck and a quick cash injection. 

But I also believe pricks shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it, so I contacted the Federal Police to see if they could assist an incompetent goose from a state with more money than theirs.

Two polite, heavily armed chaps turned up and we engaged in a meaningful and constructive conversion during which one of them said: Not much chance of getting your money back, Jon. This sort of thing happens all the time. 

Then we had a good old laugh at my expense and the current state of Australian cricket.