News

Time is not always on my side

By Geoff Adams

Fair Dinkum with Col Curmudgeon

Some people have, from time to time, thought the old Colin is a bit confused — about all sorts of things.

But is it any wonder? Now bear with me here and it will all become clear shortly. Probably about as clear as mud.

With the Christmas-New Year holidays all done and dusted, it might be time to put some sustained effort into work needing to be done.

A while ago I was talking to an agronomist in Katanning, down in the Great Southern of Western Australia.

I had to time my call just right, because normally this chap was two hours behind me — time wise. When I went to check a few details with him on Monday he was suddenly three hours behind me.

Actually, I didn't know if he was going to be in at all because at the time I had forgotten Monday was Labour Day. But no, there he was, bright eyed and bushy tailed. I commiserated with him for having to work on a public holiday.

“Oh, no Col, last Monday was the public holiday,” he told me. "So you had Labour Day last week?" I checked.

“No, no." He said, sounding a tad confused himself. "It was the Queen's birthday holiday last Monday.”

“Queen's birthday,” I laughed. "The Queen's birthday holiday is in June, everyone knows that.”

This conversation was quickly going nowhere so I got the other question about my crops cleaned up and rang off.

And immediately grabbed the calendar the missus always hangs in the kitchen with a little ceremony every January 1.

Sure enough, WA — and Queensland — don't have the same Queen's birthday as the rest of the country.

Kind of figures, if you think about it, with those secessionists. But it got worse.

That night I was laughing about it to the daughter who lives in Adelaide. And she told me on Saturday night she was half-an-hour behind Queensland and on Sunday morning she was half-an-hour ahead — and would be for the next six months.

Well, even allowing for those strange Sandgropers, it seems the rest of the country can't get organised either.

I mean think about it, we can't get a national football code organised (despite assorted rugbies and the AFL thinking they have pulled it off). Soccer, of course, only counts if we get a team in the World Cup. Otherwise it doesn't count at all.

What's worse, we can't even get our racehorses to run the same way (but we Victorians do get a public holiday for the cup and now for the eve of the grand final. Next it will be one for Mad Monday).

If it weren't for farmers, the salt of the earth, I guarantee some of these people couldn't organise a hangover in a hotel.

So with a whole public holiday to sit and mull (stop laughing, I was sitting and had told the sons it was their turn to draw the short straw) I still couldn't find an answer.

Because the ‘Gropers have their Queen's birthday in September. The banana benders had theirs last week and the real world has theirs in June.

The Queen, of course, actually has hers on April 21, but even I can understand the need for a standardised monarchical holiday for the Empire.

So I kept leafing through the calendar and one after the other I found there were holidays all over the place.

No wonder the economy never gets anything done. Someone is always on bloody holidays.

And that doesn't even take into account the public servants (the ultimate oxymoron), who are always on bloody taxpayer-funded holidays.

From January to November it was just a shambles of national discord. But with shaking hands I stopped at December and carefully returned the calendar to the wall.

I just wasn't game to see if someone had moved Christmas.