Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Four Reasons Bogans Are Happier Than You Are

People are unnecessarily mean about bogans. Sure they sometimes err on the side of being a bit yucky with their Southern Cross tattoos and their ridiculously broad Australian accents, but they also have a zest for life that to be honest, most corporate, conservative, clean-shaven types do not have. I would know this because my pedigree is roughly three quarters bogan. I pronounced yellow like “yallow” until I was at least 20, I would give my right arm for a turbo charged diesel Toyota Land Cruiser with a snorkel and a two inch lift, and my favourite drink EVER is a passionfruit UDL. Whenever I get too stressed out by corporate or classy life, I take a breath and remember the four bogan commandments…

Thou shalt not be too precious

When I was 11 we visited a wildlife park in Tassie. They had animal feed which was sold according to an honour system. Unlimited bags of feed were piled into a bin with a moneybox attached into which you were supposed to pay 50c per bag. Being 11, I had very little money or regard for rules, and the temptation to become the ruler of these animals with an unlimited supply of feed at my disposal was just too strong. My parents must have noticed that I had more feed that the $2 they gave me would buy, but just let me go about my business, as they were always wont to do. Ten minutes later, tiny arms laden with feed, I was bailed up against a fence by a donkey that was ferociously snapping not just at the food but at my clothes and hands too. My parents thought it was hilarious and took as many pictures as my supply of feed and their 24 exposure film would allow. At no point did they try to intervene. I’m still scared of donkeys.

Thou shalt have no shame

I went to a high school where my dad was a teacher. Most people I know whose parents taught at their school kept a safe distance. Not my dad. Every December my school would see out the year with a concert called “lip sync” where everyone mimed to pop songs. Usually reserved for cool girls with crimped hair and boob tubes singing Brandy and Monica “The Boy Is Mine” my dad and I broke the mold performing a duet together every year. Over the course of my high school career dad and I mimed in full costume, to the entire school, the following hits:
-       Sonny and Cher “I Got You Babe”
-       Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow “Cruisin’” (in which I mimed Huey and he mimed Gwyneth in drag)
-       Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers “Islands In The Stream”
-       Sandy and Danny “You’re The One That I Want”
-       Jasmin and Aladdin “A Whole New World”
Sometimes people would ask me why I was performing duets with a teacher. My dad maintained that I should have told them that he was my boyfriend, just to freak them out. That’s another thing bogans like – incest jokes. And let’s be honest, they are hilarious.

Thou shalt never be subtle

Sometimes my dad would decide that he would like to do our clothes shopping for us. For months afterwards my brother and I would be getting around town in hideous shirts, emblazoned with “AUSTRALIA” featuring cartoons of koalas bouncing on trampolines, purchased for five for ten dollars from Go-Lo. In a further attempt to win “father of the year” my dad would take out his false teeth (he only has a couple of missing teeth, so don’t judge him) and would chase me around the house, gnashing his good teeth and growling. I’ve never asked my dad why he’s missing teeth, but I certainly enjoyed all the laughter it brought me. And never let it be said that stereotypes aren’t accurate.

Thou shalt always observe the rule that bigger is better

My parents would scrimp and save every dollar they had. They worked hard, but they worked even harder at squirreling away their cash. When I was tiny my dad would smuggle the bladder from a wine cask into Pizza Hut so that he and mum could top up their wine on the cheap.  Once dad even claimed an abandoned car, which had been left out on the street – which is apparently a thing you can do. It eventually burst into flames while he was driving it. And good on them, because with the money they saved we always had the BIGGEST TELEVISION EVER. We may have had cheap clothes and basic food but we sure could see every detail of the news. Other items that expounded the bigger is better/more is more principle in our house included: the four separate entertaining decks we had, our super loud outdoor sound system and our endless supply of dried beef snacks and smoked almonds.

To conclude, bogans live a magical life. A life where children like their parents enough to make a dick of themselves in front of all their peers, a life where you’re taught to shake off injuries that probably need stitches and a life where laughter reigns supreme. So let me say boldly and unashamedly I AM BOGAN, HEAR MY V8 ROAR.

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