Back in the olden days of about 1972, Australia’s new proletarian Guv’mint tried a practical demonstration of its beliefs by offering two knighthoods to the plebeians. The obese union boss grabbed it greedily; the garbage-man knocked it back; he had honour and self-respect and little regard for bullshit. But I’m not here reminiscence of the days when working class sods would pelt along the side of your house, grab and run back with the poxy, battered bin. The gentlemen doing the job in air-conditioned luxury today find ten times more issues to bitch about and never get to sniff the maggoty prawns..

But that would have been a cushy bludger’s job compared to the night-man’s. Nothing shittier, job-wise, then pulling an always brimming drum of piss and crap out of a wooden commode and tipping out the excess before swinging the lot on to your shoulder and running it out to the truck. If you lived near Greenslopes Military Hospital sixty years ago, you’d have heard we kids having the times of our lives taunting these unfortunate chaps with cries of “Spenser the garbage man.”

We tried to pull the garbo.stunt on the shit guy but were assured we would wear the excess spillage.” Spenser the shit man,” didn’t have the same ring to it, anyway.

What I’m on about is the Sir Funny-name bridge that the George Street Looters and Thug Club renamed from The Gateway to amuse a long-term bureaucrat, a fellow who has, since retirement, lost his annual inducement. He did much for Queenslanders, we’ve been told. What was it again? Did he and his bludging $1,000 a day sycophant underlings create much heart-break and inconvenience, when, with a little thought and consideration, alternate ways and routes could have lessened the impact that modernisation wrought on thousands of folk.

You never hear cries of envy or hate from me. I’m on better than a thousand a month after rent and have never been better off. Being off the slops and smokes has, in effect, doubled my income. Those dopey old bastards who target Rudd’s Government would have forgotten already the generosity of the Feds, but also the bastardry of the greedy end of George Street. No 1972 type garbos there.

My dilemma is had I been asked to accept the ‘honour’ of the Les Johns Bridge, would I have allowed it?


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