Gold Coast Police chopper – A wakeup call for us all

IS there anything better than watching the sun go down on a glorious autumn day while listening to the melodic sounds of the Gold Coast?

Birds singing, kookaburras laughing … and the police chopper thundering overhead, destroying property values and scaring the crap out of paranoid, teenage dopers.

Ok, maybe I am being a little harsh.

To be fair, the chopper does not discriminate.

It is just as likely to be hovering noisily and nosily over Main Beach as Palm Beach.

Mostly it has been embraced by locals and, I’m sure, it has been doing a great job.

But it’s a bit awkward trying to convince a friend over the phone that the Gold Coast is not as dangerous as the media make out when you are interrupted by them asking ‘what’s that noise in the background’.

Umm, that’s the police chopper.

Or you have visitors from interstate and you are sitting on the back deck enjoying the twilight and the police chopper zooms by.

Nothing to see here folks, move along now.

Thankfully the excitement of the new toy has worn off a bit now and we don’t often have to endure low flying chopper action over our homes in the early hours of the morning.

Well, not that often anyway.

When police first got the chopper they were thundering all over the place, having a good look in the backyards of houses they usually can only drive past.

One night the chopper was hovering overhead like something out of a LA gang movie.

It would move away, hover somewhere else for a while, and then circle back again to hover overhead some more.

It went on for almost an hour and was so loud I couldn’t sleep.

So I jumped on Twitter, as you do, and I wasn’t the only one awake.

Other Gold Coasters were wondering what the hell was going on and there was a running commentary on where the chopper was at that moment.

I don’t know who they were after but I have been looking at my neighbours with suspicion ever since.

They’ve been giving me strange looks as well.

But I don’t think that can be blamed on the police chopper.

 

The Meddler

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I don’t like you just because I LIKE you on Facebook

ONE of the most frustrating issues with Facebook is when you want to access some pages – like those belonging to political parties – you have to click ‘like’.

You are then tormented by statements such as ‘Queensland Labor – You like this’.

No I don’t.

The Meddler has no particular feelings for the ALP or the LNP.

Or PUP, KAP or POO, for that matter.

I may have made POO up – but wouldn’t it be a wonderful name for a political party?

These defamatory statements that you like a political party follow you around the internet.

It reminds me of the unkind chants of primary school ‘frenemies’: ‘You like Jimmy McDougal, you like Jimmy McDougal’.

I did not like Jimmy McDougal!

I saw him eat snails once.

But I digress.

I popped onto Queensland Labor’s website to check out their new candidates and was again unfairly accused: ‘You and 5081 others like Queensland Labor’.

Grrrrrr.

Then I saw it. A huge headline: ‘Join Labor for only $5. Click here.

Bless them for trying to get people involved but 5 bucks?

That’s just embarrassing.

They’ll be asking for gold coin donations next.

The membership form is very interesting, asking lots of personal questions including how much you make.

Why?

By the way, one of their new candidates is Adam Obeid running in Mansfield.

Apparently he is no relation to the Obeids who have had a starring role at NSW’s ICAC inquiry.

But wouldn’t you change your name?

I then popped over to the LNP’s website – because I am bipartisan like that – and found they are running their very own Art Union.

Are they even allowed to do that?

So if you want to win your very own BMW or a motorbike all you have to do is buy a ticket for ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS.

That is correct, $100 for just one ticket.

So Labor is giving away memberships for $5 while the LNP is selling raffle tickets for $100 each.

Interestingly, a section with a promising title of ‘LNP Women’ is illustrated with a photograph of Tony Abbott and his adoring wife and daughters.

Says it all really.

The Meddler

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Bumpy ride for drivers on Bermuda street

I get the joke.

In fact, I am starting to suspect the Council has left a certain stretch of road at Reedy Creek in its current state because of the laughs it provides local motorists.

Think of it as a community service.

Because the bottom end of Bermuda Street near the M1 is full of drivers laughing their arses off at the unfortunate souls pulled up on the side of the road.

The road in question is so funny because it is so bumpy.

Not in a bump —- bump kind of way.

But a bumpbumpbumpbump way that convinces novices they have a flat tyre.

Every time I travel that road, someone is parked on the side, slowly circling their vehicle as they check their perfectly pumped tyres.

Who needs to take their kids to expensive theme parks when you can just drive them up and down Bermuda Street a few times?

Ok, perhaps I am easily amused.

Admittedly, I do snigger like a 14-year-old boy every time I pass exit 69 on the highway.

But I also laugh because that was once me.

The first time I used that road I was sure I had a flat so took the opportunity of a red light to jump out of my car to do a hurried check of my wheels.

Then I looked up and saw a car full of guys in the next lane laughing at me.

They knew.

So could we just fix the bloody road now?

At least put a sign up saying ‘Bumpy ride ahead’ or ‘It’s not you, it’s the road’.

Seriously, it’s like driving along a giant corrugated roof and it has been like that for years.

I suspect the heavy trucks going to the nearby quarry might have something to do with the state of the road.

Yet nothing has ever been done about it.

Of course, some people may enjoy the bumpy ride for other reasons – and I am not going to judge them for that.

Are there other roads out there that are driving you crazy because they are designed poorly, are in a bad way or are just plain weird?

 

The Meddler

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For Sale – One slightly used cruise ship terminal plan

PSSST – wanna buy a slightly used cruise ship terminal plan?

Well, have I got a deal for you.

For a limited time only, I can throw in a museum, some lighthouses and Southbank-like parklands.

No? Then what can I do to put you in this project today?

Look, you’re killing me and the boss is going to be furious but what if I throw in an aquarium and a free set of steak knives?

The ASF Consortium behind the $5 billion Broadwater Marine Project proposal is certainly throwing everything into the deal as they battle to win the locals over.

But they seem to be missing the point that most objections – besides the location of the cruise ship terminal – are about the size of the project.

Instead of backing off from the original plans for a massive residential, resort, casino and cruise ship terminal that is frightening the dog walkers, they are now squeezing even more stuff onto open public space.

And the latest designs released to woo the people are still showing a cruise ship terminal at Doug Jennings Park even though Mayor Tom Tate has opposed this.

So they can change their plans to include new stuff but can’t change them to move the terminal?

Anyway, it’s still not working.

A Facebook page has been set up by ASF to ‘capture’ the community’s views.

And those views include comments such as:

“So you take some aerial shots of the Gold Coast Broadwater and draw a ship on it. What a pack of eggs you people are!”

And: “You know where this would look good? Brisbane!”

They are some of the more polite statements.

The proposal goes before the Gold Coast City Council early next month but ASF also has to convince the State Government that the Gold Coast community is behind it.

Good luck with that.

By the way, has any ‘normal’ person been contacted yet to be part of the ‘focus group’ that is supposed to convince the State Government the Gold Coast community is mostly on board for this project?

On board – get it?

I crack myself up sometimes.

 

The Meddler

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I am not a drug addict – I just have a lot of headaches

I walked into a chemist the other day and politely requested some headache tablets.

‘What are they for,” asked the 12-year-old behind the counter, suspiciously.

For a headache, I replied like a smartarse as she looked me up and down.

“Have you had them before, how often do you take them and we will need to see your driver’s licence,” she countered, from behind the counter.

Who else is sick of being treated like a junkie every time they walk into a chemist these days?

Teenage shop assistants loudly ask personal questions; sour-faced clerks demand identification for cough medicine; and white-coated pharmacists come down from their lofty dispensaries to lecture.

Is it the way I dress or is everyone being treated like a drug dealer when they go shopping for something to dry up their snot?

Knowing the drama asking for a certain brand of headache tablets gets you, I once asked for just a small packet.

Yes, I get a lot of headaches – usually after visiting a chemist, strangely enough.

“Oh, we don’t have any packs of 10 left, only 30s,” said another 12-year-old.

Ok, I’ll have a pack of 30s then.

“Then we will need to see your driver’s licence because you are buying a large quantity.”

But I’m only getting the 30s because you don’t have the 10s.

“We still need to see identification and enter your name into the system.”

Recently I was even questioned over a brand of eye drops I asked for.

Putting her head to one side doubtfully, a 12-year-old asked me what I wanted them for.

To put in my eyes, I said patiently and added, before she could utter another word, “my optometrist prescribed it.”

Oh, that’s ok then.

I’m sure pharmacists are fed up with people trying to get certain products that can be used to manufacture illegal drugs.

And I am also sure they are very aware of the duty of care they have to ensure customers are getting the right medicine and information.

But the vast majority of us do not sniff cold tablets, or whatever druggies do, and know exactly what we need when we are sick.

So could they at least tell their staff to stop being so rude?

 

The Meddler

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Anything from the minutiae to the meaningful, the heartfelt to the humorous, if you’ve got an issue or a rant you think Gold Coasters need to read submit it to The Meddler. There’s $50 for each contribution published.

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