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The naked snowman

As I’ve said before, I love living in north-east Victoria, even though it’s pretty quiet up here at the moment and the ski fields are doing it real tough despite the excellent conditions they’ve had. It looks like skiing is a stuffed industry but, as far as I’m concerned, tell someone who cares. We do well enough down here in Bright over the other 9 months of the year so the greedy corporates up there at the over-developed mountain resorts are getting exactly what they deserve in my opinion – i.e. bankruptcy.

Anyway, I guess the near deserted state of the ski resorts might explain this guy’s Darwin Club attempt last night at nearby Falls Creek.

Well, that and some, err, substances perhaps:

‘Naked’ man found in snow unconscious

MYSTERY surrounds the discovery of a reportedly naked man, suffering from hypothermia at Falls Creek.

Men heard the man groaning in the snow below a chalet about 4am and he was taken to the Falls Creek Medical Centre where he was attended by Dr Dominic Blanks.

Some reports stated he was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, but the doctor said that did not appear the case.

“I don’t even think he was wearing that, I think he was naked in the snow,” Dr Blanks said.

The man was believed to be semi-conscious when he was found and had lost consciousness when he arrived at the clinic.

“Initially he had a temperature of 24.5, normal would start about 36 and anything below 30 is quite severe hypothermia,” Dr Blanks said.

Police are investigating how the man came to spend the night in the freezing temperatures.

Look, I hope he recovers, but I think he should be named & shamed.

Better still let’s see a photo of him. Or a video … preferably clothed!

In the meantime, this video that I found on YouTube will have to do. It’s not him (or maybe it was) but he’s obviously not the first to try this little party trick.

What an idiot:



Cheap wine and a 3-day binge

Laura would not approve.

No, I haven’t revived SockPuppet, but this story would have been right up his alley … and down the throat of his ‘girlfriend’ Laura Hall, the binge-drinking 20 y.o. Brit girl who made history by becoming the first person ever to be banned from buying alcohol anywhere in the U.K. Laura, you might recall, accepted SP’s offer of sponsored migration and residency in the 30-footer in exchange for, umm, favours. But she would not be happy with this news.

You see, there are moves afoot and calls by health groups to price cheap wines out of the reach of young people by introducing much heavier taxes on ALL wines. MUCH heavier. But something doesn’t add up here:

SURGEON John Crozier … can’t understand why wine should sell for as little as $2 a bottle.

Dr Crozier, a surgeon at Sydney’s Liverpool Hospital, has added his voice to the growing clamour from health groups for heavier taxes, particularly on wine.

The result is that alcohol tax reform is now likely to get a serious hearing at the October tax summit.

Wine attracts a tax of about 7¢ a standard drink, compared to 28¢ tax on full-strength beer and 91¢ on alcopops.


Public health campaigner Professor Michael Daube said tax reformers were picking on wine ”because it is dirt cheap” and price was shown to be central to drinking habits.

”We are only picking on it because is so grossly cheap and I don’t see how anyone can defend wine at 30¢ a standard drink,” said Professor Daube, who is director at the McCusker Centre for Action on Alcohol and Youth.

Fair enough, I guess, if those figures are right but are they? No, the comparisons in this article are misleading. Very misleading. Let’s clear this up from the outset:

A 750ml bottle of wine contains about 7 standard drinks based on alcohol content. So the figures above of 30¢ for a standard drink including tax of just 7¢ are clearly based on a bottle that costs only $2 when in fact most wines sell for far more.

If we took $10 as a median price (and I’d suggest you can’t often buy good wine at that price either), then you’re looking at $1.50 for a standard drink including tax of 35¢ – i.e. more than beer.

Why compare the tax on the cheapest of cheap wines to the tax on standard priced beer and other alcoholic beverages? It’s deliberately misleading and makes wine look as though it’s undertaxed when it isn’t.

Actually, I understand why they’ve done that because, as Professor Maube suggests, this is about picking on the lower-end wines and deterring younger people from binge drinking. But to do that would require a massive hike across the board – on all wines.

There’s a lot of dumping and price-leading going on in the wholesale & retail wine market. About once a month our local Woolies liquor store sells boxes of 6 for $12 – there’s your $2 a bottle! – that drags people in and moves the wine out pretty quickly. I own up to having bought some myself. The dry whites are okay (provided they’re really, really chilled) but the reds taste like all crap. Generally I wait until they have their “30% off” sales about once every 2 months but you have to buy 6 or more bottles at a time to get the discount, so I mix it up with a few average-priced wines and some better quality ones to come out at an average price around that $10 per bottle I suggested above. They don’t run these specials side-by-side.

However, last time I looked, the Government did not have the power to introduce minimum retail prices on any products, so I think the only tool open to them is taxation. And I don’t see how they can apply that without pushing the median price of wine through the roof and beyond the reach of most people, thereby forcing us wine lovers to drink the mass-produced (and often imported) cheaper shit and destroying our local wine industry in the process.

I’m not sure what the answer is but there has to be a better way of discouraging binge drinking. Perhaps there’s a case to be made for slugging cask wine more – I suggest it be called the Coolabah tax – on the basis it’s sold in a different form. But I dunno if  they can tax packaging.

Just leave our bottled wine alone please. Or Laura will go nuts.


Bad news for Laura but good news for me

You would all remember Laura Hall the first person ever to be banned from buying or drinking alcohol anywhere in England.

In case you dont here is a pictorial reminder:

1. Laura likes a drink:


2. Well actually Laura likes a lot of drink:

3. A hell of a lot of drink:

So what is the news?

Well Laura has been staying with me at BlueGums in exchange for some um …. favours while she waits out her ban from boozing at home in the UKE (United Kingdom of England).

But this news will hit her like a ton of Bundy & coke:

BRITAIN will ditch its controversial 24-hour drinking laws under new government plans that aim to tackle the country’s chronic binge boozing problem.

The legislation for late licensing, introduced by the previous Labour government in 2005, was meant to usher in a so-called “cafe culture” and encourage more moderate drinking habits.

But critics claim it has instead led to an increase in alcohol-related violence and done little to temper the heavy drinking that makes some British town centres no-go zones on Friday and Saturday nights.


Authorities would be given powers to introduce a ban on drinking after midnight in entire streets or towns. And some pubs and clubs that do stay open later will be made to pay a levy to cover the extra cost of policing.

“When these proposals are implemented, this will be the death knell for 24-hour drinking,” a government source told the Telegraph.

Shes stuffed!

And Laura might as well stay stuffed.


With me:

I will break this news to her gently over a slab of B&C.

You lot can have a debate in the comments about binge drinking and whether we should do what Britain is doing.

I am busy.

Meet Iain’s niece Laura Hall, Britain’s party girl extrordinair

I do not know if 20-year old Laura Hall, the first first person ever to be banned from buying or drinking alcohol anywhere in England and Wales, is related to Iain or not but someone needs to speak up in defence of this fun-seeking party girl who should be a hero not a villiain.

I will make my points in pictures:

Point 1:

What is wrong with this?

Yes shes drinking straight from the bottle but so do blokes.

And her steely gaze proves shes not the slightest bit drunk.

No case to answer here. 


Point 2:

I am not sure what that orange & brown stuff on her naked upper torso is but I am sure it was carefully applied and is NOT vomit.

Laura is a careful, considerate party girl and even goes to the trouble of bringing her own glass.

Note the eyes – she is not drunk here either.


Point 3:

Okay, Laura looks a bit tipsy here and like she’s gone into I-wanna-root animal mode.

But she is just exotic dancing and no, she is not about to pee in her glass. 

Laura is now banned from entering any pub, club, bottle shop or bar for the next two years and also banned from buying alcohol at any other establishment or shop, carrying it in an unsealed container or drinking it in a public place.

But that is only in the UK.

Laura is welcome to my home town any day.

She can stay in the caravan.

With me.

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