Podcast: Want chips with that (plus radio spot)?


Elsewhere in this post

With Christmas rapidly approaching and Covid-19 closing in on us again, we thought about not doing  a full podcast this week.

A quick intro and replay of Jimmy’s most recent stint on the James Valentine’s afternoons on ABC Radio 702, and that ws going to be it.

But once we got chatting, all sorts of topic came up, such as, what is this obsession with toilet roll every time there’s a hint of trouble on the horizon?

Why do some people “need” to have 10 times as much as they could possibly use outside of a combination of the apocalypse and a seriously bad curry.

Listen Here

And why does that outweigh other people’s reasonable hope that they’ll find a couple of rolls still for sale on the shelf when they pop into the supermarket?

Are we turning into Trumpians, with their “me first, stuff you!” attitudes?

And talking about those who lack a highly developed sense of community, we hop into the anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers who use their belief in conspiracy theories about microchips in the vaccine and how only old people get Covid-19, to justify not wearing masks on trains and buses in the midst of a pandemic surge.

As Jimmy writes in an upcoming column in the Financial Review, there’s no vaccine to prevent or cure stupidity.

But, the worrying thing is, the theories might be stupid but some of the people who believe them clearly aren’t.

We discuss a friend of Sue’s who is an intelligent and articulate woman but who says she probably won’t take the vaccine when it gets here because of fears that it contains a chip created by Bill Gates that will be able to track and monitor us wherever we go.

Jimmy likes the idea of this chip and says it could be used the same way as with missing pets, to check who you are and where you belong if you ever go missing (like after a Christmas  or New Year’s Eve Party).

All this is in the podcast and the transcript. 

What’s not in the transcript is the session on the James Valentine show but that’s worth a listen, if only for the question about whether or not visiting dogs now have to be allowed in apartment blocks now that by-laws banning pets are defunct?

If you haven’t listened before, just turn up your speakers, connect your earpods or plug in your headphones, and click on play near the top of this story.  It’s the most fun you’ll have in strata without breaching any by-laws.

The transcript

Jimmy 00:00

It’s kind of hard to stay positive at the moment, isn’t it?

Sue  00:03

Yeah, I think COVID has come back and kind of depressed us all.

Jimmy  00:07

With a vengeance, and a lot of our friends who were planning to go away for Christmas and New Year are stuck at home.

Sue  00:14


Jimmy  00:15

We’ll just have to entertain them.

Sue  00:17

Yeah, and I think there’s a lot of that going on; the ‘new orphans’ are being entertained by friends who’ve actually bought food and have food, whereas they’ve got empty cupboards.

Jimmy  00:26

But I was in the supermarket the other day, and, empty toilet roll shelves! They were filling them up again, so obviously, they’re ready for it this time, but what is this strange obsession with…

Sue  00:39

It’s good news for my local newsagent. I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but it’s packed with toilet rolls, and hand sanitizer because I think it arrived all a bit too late for the last one.

Jimmy 00:51

So, he’s had it in a cupboard somewhere, or a warehouse?

Sue 00:53

No, not at all; it’s completely taken over the shop. All the newspapers and magazines and cards and lollies are all kind of around the edge, because he’s got so much stock. He’s obviously got nowhere else to put it. Hopefully, this will be good news for him at least, because I do feel sorry for him. He’s obviously incredibly over-ordered.  It’s so sad every time you go in here.

Jimmy  01:17

Anyway, we will try and keep your spirits up. I’m Jimmy Thomson.

Sue 01:30

And I’m Sue Williams.

Jimmy 01:32

And this is the Flat Chat Wrap. It was funny going into the city to get a few essentials the other day, how many people were not wearing masks on the train. I was tempted to go in a train again, just to find out how many people were wearing masks, but it seemed a bit counterproductive, really.

Sue  02:03

Absolutely. It’s hard, though. There are some people that say it should be legislated, but then other people say well, it’s pretty hard for train staff and bus drivers, because those people would be expected to police this, really.

Jimmy 02:16

How about the police; wouldn’t they police things?

Sue 02:20

There’s probably not enough of them.

Jimmy 02:22

There’re thousands of them!

Sue 02:24

They’re all busy on the borders. They can’t go on every bus!

Jimmy  02:28

They caught a couple of people trying to sneak into the Northern Beaches the other day and fined them $1,000 each, or something like that.

Sue  02:36

Wow, an expensive day trip.

Jimmy  02:38

Yeah, but how dumb.

Sue  02:40

Well, maybe some people just don’t read the news. Or, maybe they just read it on Facebook.

Jimmy  02:44

This is one of the things that worries me; that people are getting their news from Facebook and other things like Twitter. They’re full of such nonsense; all these people saying, ‘wearing masks makes it more likely that you will get COVID’ and crap like that. It’s just so annoying, but let’s not get depressed.

Sue  03:03

No, but it is weird, even conspiracy theories about vaccines; ‘the vaccine is being specially implanted with some kind of device by Bill Gates, so he can trace you.’ You think this is weirdness and bizarreness on a huge scale, but then I was talking to a close friend of mine the other day and she said she doesn’t think she’ll have the vaccine, because of ‘the chip.’ She’s a really smart woman and she’s educated, and so these conspiracy theories do dig in to people at a level that we’ve just never seen before.

Jimmy  03:36

I want the chip!

Sue 03:38

Oh, it would be quite handy.

Jimmy 03:40

Yeah, I mean like for when your pet goes missing; when I go missing.

Sue 03:45

I’ll be able to track you down.

Jimmy 03:48

A policeman will come up with a scanner and go, ‘oh, it’s Jimmy, and there’s Sue’s phone number.’

Sue 03:54

Does that happen often, Jimmy?

Jimmy 03:57

No, but I’m getting older, so it could start happening quite a lot. I like that guy who got the microchip from his credit card, implanted in the back of his hand.

Sue 04:10

But then he was ordered to take it out, wasn’t he? Or, it wasn’t valid?

Jimmy 04:13

Well, he got arrested for fare-dodging, because they said technically, he didn’t have a valid bus pass or whatever it was and he’s gone, ‘look, read it. It will make your machine go blip.’ They didn’t want to do it because it was too modern, or something

Sue  04:30

I think it’s a great idea. I mean, I’d love to never have to carry keys around again; never have to carry cash.

Jimmy  04:37

Well, they were getting there because iris recognition; when the thing reads your eye, which is absolutely unique to everyone. It’s like a fingerprint, but one that actually works, unlike on my phone. That will be the thing, where you will just come to your front door and your door will start opening. You were talking about this the other week. Something in your apartment will sense that you’re starting to move towards the door, and the lift will be called to your floor so that when you walk out your front door, the lift’s already there. It’s all happening; all the technology is already there. I actually don’t think there is a Nano chip out there that is going to be injected into us all. It really worries me when, as you said, you meet intelligent people who believe this. It makes me worry about what has already been done to addle the brains of grownups.

Sue  05:40

Yep, and the media, and people like us, have a responsibility then, to keep people up on…

Jimmy 05:44

To call it out.

Sue 05:45

Yeah, and it’s great now more and more people are calling out Trump as well, whereas previously, many people were quite silent on him, really.

Jimmy  05:52

I was reading just a few minutes ago, that over the weekend, Michael Flynn, the guy who he pardoned for having lied under oath, was suggesting that they should send troops to all the battleground states and force them to reverse the election.

Sue  06:09

And declare martial law.

Jimmy  06:11

Yeah, because Trump is saying, statistically, he could not possibly have lost, because nobody in an American election has ever won Iowa and Florida and lost the election, right? It’s not true! It’s just not true.

Sue 06:27

He can’t tell his lies right.

Jimmy  06:30

Yeah. Nixon, when he ran against Kennedy, won Florida and Iowa. He still lost; so it’s just basically, fundamentally, bullshit.

Sue  06:41

So, reasons to be cheerful. There’s quite a lot of them, really!

Jimmy  06:42

Trump will be gone soon. Well, he’ll be gone from power. I’ve got a horrible feeling he’s still going to be bouncing around the social media sphere, making noise and trying to undermine Joe Biden.

Sue  06:58

Yeah, but maybe he’ll have fewer and fewer followers, because some of his followers, no doubt, are attracted by the fact that he’s one of the most powerful men in the world. Once he goes back onto the sidelines, maybe he’ll just lose many of those people, and he will look like a foolish rambler, out in the cold. And, a loser.

Jimmy  07:20

Yes. There’s quite a good joke in Peter Fitzsimmons column on the weekend. Trump, Putin and

Sue 07:24


Jimmy 07:25

Ping, Xing…

Sue  07:27

Xing? Jing?

Jimmy  07:31

The Chinese President are having a post-Christmas drink and Trump says “I can’t believe I lost. You know, I’m just so sure I got more votes than anybody ever had before, but the other guy got more votes than me. I just can’t believe; how did that happen?” Putin says, “well, you know, when I have an election, I always know exactly how many votes the other guy’s going to get.” The Chinese president says, “what’s this ‘other guy’ you’re referring to?”

Sue 08:05

That’s very good.

Jimmy 08:07

Just a quick roundup of the week. There’s been people in houses complaining that people in apartments have it so good.

Sue 08:17

Which is really refreshing, isn’t it?

Jimmy 08:19

We have a Building Commissioner, who is going to make sure that apartment blocks are built properly and there’s no Building Commissioner for people in houses; all those poor ‘housey’ people.

Sue  08:30

Yeah, and I obviously feel sorry for anybody who has a free-standing house where it’s been built in a really shoddy fashion, but it’s great, at least, that apartments are getting priority now because…

Jimmy  08:41

Can I just point something out, as a basic flaw to this argument? Apartment blocks over three stories’ high, cannot have insurance.

Sue  08:49

Which is crazy.

Jimmy  08:51

Houses below three stories’ high, must have insurance. Stop whining! That’s my advice, for your happy Christmas, ‘housey’ people

Sue  09:03

Mascot towers; the court case carries on, doesn’t it? The shopkeepers have had a bit of a reprieve over Christmas, so they can stay open (who are at the base of the building). We’ll just keep watching that to see what unfolds.

Jimmy  09:20

Look, it’s a terrible situation those poor people. We invest literally, financially and figuratively; we invest so much in our homes, to have all that pulled away. You’re told “well, you cannot live there but you cannot have your money back.” It’s just awful. It must be an awful situation.

Sue  09:43

Yeah, and bowlo’s are really in the news now.

Jimmy 09:47

What is a ‘bowlo?’

Sue 09:48

The bowling club on the north.

Jimmy  09:50

Oh right, bowlo. What did you say?

Sue  09:55

‘Bowlo;’ bowling. Also, the Waverly ‘bowlo’ The Waverly bowlo is going to be made into apartments. Developers just announced it today.

Jimmy  10:21

I’m sure that people around that bowling club are dancing in the street at the very thought that a nice square of manicured green grass is going to be concrete and glass sometime soon.

Sue  10:35

Some of the old clubs, which are now being redeveloped (and I think a lot of developers are looking at these clubs, you know, bowling clubs, RSL clubs, Legion clubs) …  They’re building apartments above them and they’re completely restoring the club’s themselves; giving them new, fresh premises right at the base of the building or a couple of floors up. Lots more amenity, and they’re finding that they’re attracting a whole new clientele as well because they’re no longer dusty with an old sticky carpet and things. They are quite modern.

Jimmy  11:11

But they still have a bowling green?

Sue 11:14


Jimmy  11:15

You seem unsure.

Sue  11:17

Yeah, I don’t know. They might be keeping the bowling green. Maybe keeping it but they’re just redesigning the club around it and putting apartments above.

Jimmy  11:30

Yeah, that would make sense because when there used to be a bowling green, where the Cook and Phillip Park swimming pool is. That used to be bowling greens. That was City Bowling Club.

Sue  11:39

Wow. That would have been so much nicer than the concrete monstrosity that’s there now. I mean, the pool itself is fantastic. The concrete forecourt, in front of the cathedral, I just find kind of gray, depressing and miserable. In fact, I was there yesterday, Jimmy, because I went with some friends on our annual pilgrimage to go and watch the lights on the cathedral.

We had a picnic nearby in the park and we were sitting there and saying, ‘isn’t it amazing; there’s just so few people around and we’ve got the whole park to ourselves. Isn’t this lovely?” It was a beautiful sunset and then just as it was getting dark, we said ‘okay, now we pack up our picnic, and we’ll go and watch the lights.’ Somebody looked at their mobile phone and discovered that the lights had been canceled the day before.

Jimmy  12:29

They cancelled Christmas!

Sue  12:30

We’d been there for three hours waiting for the lights and only then did somebody think to check.

Jimmy 12:35

But you ate all the food.

Sue 12:38

We did and we had a very nice time and a drone flew overhead, presumably filming us. Wondering if perhaps, if we were the looniest people in Sydney.

Jimmy 12:47

I think he was trying to read your chip; trying to work out who you were. Before we go, just a reminder to everybody. As we mentioned last week, we have discovered that Marrickville Legal Centre has a free strata legal service. Now, this is a not for profit organization. They do need money, so if you’re wondering where to put your charity funds this Christmas, or New Year, (because Christmas is just a few days away), come to the website. Have a look on www.flatchat.com.au There’ll be a couple of things here that will link you through to Marrickville Legal Center and the excellent work that they do.

Sue  14:15

I was on ABC radio the other day in Victoria, on Libby Gore’s program, talking about housing in Victoria and somebody phoned up to complain about me because I said the word ‘Castlemaine’ and it’s meant to be pronounced ‘Casslemaine.’ That’s the one thing they wanted to comment on, and we had a debate about how to say the stupid word. It was so funny, because before I’d been through all the areas of Victoria that I was going to speak about, and checked the pronunciation of all of them and that was the only one I hadn’t thought of to check because I thought it’s obvious its ‘Castlemaine.’

Jimmy  14:55

That’s your Hey Martha for this week taken care of and mine is similar because I was listening to the BBC podcast; the politics podcast. Somebody was talking about having met the Queen. Oh no, somebody did a zoom call as the Queen in England, and she was calling up to see how they were going and they were talking to this guy. Of course, the palace ‘preps’ you before because you know, you’ve met the Queen, obviously, and the palace preps you before on what you’re supposed to do and what you’re supposed to say. Apparently, it’s really important that you don’t call her ‘Maam.’ You call her ‘Mam.’ Yeah, it’s like ham; it’s not ‘harm’. It’s ‘mam’.

Sue  15:39

Because at school; I went to a really crappy comprehensive school in one of the worst places in Britain. We had to call our female teachers’ ‘maam’.

Jimmy 15: 49


Sue 15:50

I think it was a hangover from the days when it used to be a grammar school and it was kind of such an odd thing. It was always ‘Maam.’

Jimmy  15:56

You had female teachers?

Sue  16:01

Actually, not many. Mostly sewing and cookery.

Jimmy  16:07

All right.

Sue 16:09

And French.

Jimmy 16:10

They don’t call it cookery anymore.

Sue  16:12

Home Economics.

Jimmy  16:13

We had a French female French student teacher. We had a female English teacher.

Sue  16:20

Oh, we had a female English teacher too, sorry,

Jimmy  16:24

Maths and science.

Sue 16:26

Science was always men.

Jimmy  16:27

Geography and history.

Sue 16:31

We didn’t have history in our school. We didn’t have a history teacher, so we never learned history, which is a shame, because I never know anything about history.

Jimmy 16:37

Which is ironic, because you’ve just published, or you’re just about to publish, an historical novel.

Sue  16:45

Yes, that’s right, and it’s so-called fiction about Australian history. It has a bit of British history in there as well, which explains why it was such hard work for me and explains why it was such a weird thing for me to have done. I’m glad it’s done!

Jimmy  17:00

Now you know more about history than you did when you were at school.

Sue  17:04

Yes, quite!

Jimmy  17:05

Well, you’d be very one of the very few people who could say that. I think that is our cue to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, or is it a Happy Christmas?

Sue  17:15

Merry Christmas, and a really Happy New Year.

Jimmy  17:18

We’ll do that next week. Well, just in case you don’t listen to us next week, a Merry New Year!

Sue  17:27

I hope it’s much better than this year’s been.

Jimmy  17:30

As the Beatles said, in one of their early Christmas messages, ‘Have a Cool Yule and a Gear New Year.’

Sue 17: 39

A ‘gear new year’?

Jimmy 17:40

A ‘gear new year’. That was the thing back then. That was before people started saying good things were ‘sick’, they used to say they were ‘gear’.

Sue  17:48

Okay, well, we don’t want you to have a sick New Year.

Jimmy  17:50

No, nobody wants a sick new year. Okay, that’s, that’s it from us. Thanks for listening. Thanks for chatting, Sue.

Sue 17:59

All the best.

One Reply to “Podcast: Want chips with that (plus radio spot)?”

  1. Jimmy-T says:

    If you want to start a discussion or ask a question about this, log into the Flat Chat Forum (using the link above). More people will read it there and you can more easily keep track of responses.

Leave a Reply

scroll to top