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.
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.
It’s kind of hard to stay positive at the moment, isn’t it?
Yeah, I think COVID has come back and kind of depressed us all.
With a vengeance, and a lot of our friends who were planning to go away for Christmas and New Year are stuck at home.
We’ll just have to entertain them.
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.
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…
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.
So, he’s had it in a cupboard somewhere, or a warehouse?
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.
Anyway, we will try and keep your spirits up. I’m Jimmy Thomson.
And I’m Sue Williams.
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.
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.
How about the police; wouldn’t they police things?
There’s probably not enough of them.
There’re thousands of them!
They’re all busy on the borders. They can’t go on every bus!
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.
Wow, an expensive day trip.
Yeah, but how dumb.
Well, maybe some people just don’t read the news. Or, maybe they just read it on Facebook.
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.
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.
I want the chip!
Oh, it would be quite handy.
Yeah, I mean like for when your pet goes missing; when I go missing.
I’ll be able to track you down.
A policeman will come up with a scanner and go, ‘oh, it’s Jimmy, and there’s Sue’s phone number.’
Does that happen often, Jimmy?
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.
But then he was ordered to take it out, wasn’t he? Or, it wasn’t valid?
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
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.
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.
Yep, and the media, and people like us, have a responsibility then, to keep people up on…
To call it out.
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.
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.
And declare martial law.
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.
He can’t tell his lies right.
Yeah. Nixon, when he ran against Kennedy, won Florida and Iowa. He still lost; so it’s just basically, fundamentally, bullshit.
So, reasons to be cheerful. There’s quite a lot of them, really!
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.
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.
Yes. There’s quite a good joke in Peter Fitzsimmons column on the weekend. Trump, Putin and
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?”
That’s very good.
Just a quick roundup of the week. There’s been people in houses complaining that people in apartments have it so good.
Which is really refreshing, isn’t it?
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.
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…
Can I just point something out, as a basic flaw to this argument? Apartment blocks over three stories’ high, cannot have insurance.
Which is crazy.
Houses below three stories’ high, must have insurance. Stop whining! That’s my advice, for your happy Christmas, ‘housey’ people
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.
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.
Yeah, and bowlo’s are really in the news now.
What is a ‘bowlo?’
The bowling club on the north.
Oh right, bowlo. What did you say?
‘Bowlo;’ bowling. Also, the Waverly ‘bowlo’ The Waverly bowlo is going to be made into apartments. Developers just announced it today.
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.
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.
But they still have a bowling green?
You seem unsure.
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.
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.
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.
They cancelled Christmas!
We’d been there for three hours waiting for the lights and only then did somebody think to check.
But you ate all the food.
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.
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.flat-chat.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.
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.’
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’.
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
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.’
You had female teachers?
Actually, not many. Mostly sewing and cookery.
They don’t call it cookery anymore.
We had a French female French student teacher. We had a female English teacher.
Oh, we had a female English teacher too, sorry,
Maths and science.
Science was always men.
Geography and history.
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.
Which is ironic, because you’ve just published, or you’re just about to publish, an historical novel.
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!
Now you know more about history than you did when you were at school.
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?
Merry Christmas, and a really Happy New Year.
We’ll do that next week. Well, just in case you don’t listen to us next week, a Merry New Year!
I hope it’s much better than this year’s been.
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’?
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’.
Okay, well, we don’t want you to have a sick New Year.
No, nobody wants a sick new year. Okay, that’s, that’s it from us. Thanks for listening. Thanks for chatting, Sue.
All the best.