A Brief History of Australia Day

All public holidays are equal. Some, however, are more equal than others. It’s true that you should never look a gift horse in the mouth. That’s not just because the thing has failed to brush its teeth (and, to be fair, it’s hard to attend to your oral hygiene needs without opposable thumbs), but also because it can seem ungrateful. So it is with public holidays.
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Insecurity Tag

I get it. In fact, I’d say it’s only common sense that our major retailers should want to defend themselves by affixing security tags to their merchandise. Granted, it’s a sad state of affairs that our department stores feel compelled to harpoon their garments to prevent no-goodniks from stealing their stuff, but I understand. The genius of a security tag lies in its simplicity. Even if you do manage to escape the store with the shirt, the dress, the pants or whatever else your thieving hands have succeeded in bringing within their evil grasp; in removing the security tag you will destroy the very object that you have risked everything to obtain.
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A Secret History of the Manbag

There was a time, not so very long ago, when the very idea of a manbag was derided as the type of thing you would only encounter either in a fairy tale or, possibly, Europe. Men did not carry bags. Instead, they attempted to cram everything they ever needed or were likely to need into their trouser pockets. Generally, such items consisted of your house keys, wallet and a handkerchief. There was simply no need for a manbag. Unless, of course, it was called an ‘Eski’. But things have changed. These days, the sheer volume of material the modern person must transport has increased exponentially since those simpler times.
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Shanks for the Memories

There are lots of things I’ve never done. Skydiving, bull-riding and splitting the atom to name but a few. I could blame circumstance or say that the right moment never came along, but the cold hard truth is that I have done none of these things due to a chronic lack of interest on my part. That’s not the worst of it. There are some challenges I am yet to tackle not because of apathy but something more sinister. This unnamed reluctance sits on my shoulder like a deep fried chip and prevents me from having a go. It is, I think, a fear of failure. This deeply held paranoia stops me from attempting a hook-turn (too confusing), swimming with the dolphins (what if they hate my guts?) and, most tragically of all, from attempting to cook lamb shanks.
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It’s the End of the World as We Know It (and I feel fine)

Those lousy Mayans got it all wrong. As it turns out, the world did not come to a shuddering halt on the evening of 21 December 2012. For a range of reasons, this is a huge disappointment. For starters, it means my decision to not return my overnight rentals to the video store has backfired spectacularly. Worse still, having elected to not start my Christmas shopping on the off chance that human civilisation as we know it might end, I am now severely behind the eight, nine and ten ball.
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Trees, Axes and Justin Bieber – A Christmas Story

Christmas is such a wonderful day that, just like the Olympics, it should be held every year. But not everyone enjoys it. In the classic Dickens story, ‘A Christmas Carol’, Ebenezer Scrooge improves his attitude to the Yuletide season after being visited by the spirit of a former business partner and the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future. For me, such paranormal activity is unnecessary. Even without a visitation in by some sprite with a point to prove and little respect for the laws of trespass, I have long been haunted by the ghost of Christmas past.
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