Huge crowd, great weather, deaf as a post after the roaring beastliness of the primeval cars’ engines exploding with deafening ethanol farts every few seconds. Hours and hours of these roaring cars and ‘Utes’ (pick-up trucks), Formula Ford race cars, Minis, all flashing past in cacophonous thunderous, almost frightening explosions of chaotic noise. Endless parades of ‘Merchandise shops’ - basically giant convoys of trucks that weave from event to event on the V8 circuit. On arrival, they unfold like weird mechanical origami into a dazzling array of shops, bars, cafes, and stages. Endless parades of semi-naked exotic dancers, maniac motor cyclists doing tricks, bearded chaps carrying kangaroo pups under the front of their shirts, fantastically awful fast food, XXXX Gold, ugly team shirts with so many products smeared on them that the designs look like they’ve been put together by psychotic corporate robots.
What a fantastic two day immersion into massive commercialism.
Gigantic good fun!
My guts are still gurgling and rumbling from the gooey beef and gravy sandwiches, the sodden chips (French fries), hot dogs, and endless cans of piss-weak beer. So many mini-skirt clad exotic dancers, so little time! Antony and I began an amusing mission
to collect as many photos as possible with me and the exotic girls draped over me, but there were so many of them that the whole project became too exhausting for what was only ever meant to be a cheap laugh on the blog. Still, we did keep a few for your amusement. Nothing fake at all about these smiles, and you should know that they only did these photos for me - no one else. There was definitely not an endless succession of sad men and boys in all age groups waiting to have their pictures taken with these frozen, smiling barbies, each sad chap (except me) copping a little grope of ass willingly proffered by the Barbie when they did it. No way. That wasn’t what was happening at all. No way - it was all far more tasteful than an outdoor, all-day strip club. Honest!
Aside from these rapacious individuals enticing pundits into their corporate lairs where cheap free merchandise was dished out with unseemly generosity, there was plenty of people watching to be done as Antony and I wandered from one position on the track to the next, the dizzying flash of cars blurring past
with a terrible whining roar every two minutes or so. On Sunday, I happened to be looking where one of the cars became airborne, rotated once in the air, then disintegrated against the barrier. The bloke got out unharmed, surprisingly enough!
Especially on Sunday, we got new tickets to the main Grandstand in the best row - row Z - from where we got fantastic elevations over forty percent of the track, great views into the ‘pits’, and great views of video monitors for the sections of the track we couldn’t directly see. The sun was baking down for both days. There were stunning views of the city and its surrounding areas from up there as well as it being sunbathing central. Waking up today to watch the World Cup final, I’ve got burnt lips - not from the exotic ladies, silly, from Row Z!
It was a hell of an event, probably attended by between sixty and eighty thousand people each day. It’s a lot like a pop festival, including even having music performances by the end of the day on Saturday - a fantastic set by an inspired and brilliant revitalized INXS.
I never really was
much of a fan - but having seen them play now, I can see the appeal: tight, crisp, intelligent, sparse arrangements, simple songs, stadium choruses. Since the original singer came to a gory, embarrassing wank-related end - he literally got to the end of his rope - the band responded to the problem by doing a reality show and finding a replacement singer through that process. In the program notes, the guitar player describes the winner and new singer as ‘a bit of a dickhead’, but, in my opinion, he gave them something that even the original singer would not have done - youth, vitality, and relevance - loads of the young ladies begging and bellowing at the singer to rip off his shirt would not have been so enthusiastic for 50 year old pervert Mr. Hutchence, no matter how amazing he once was. Let’s face it, the older fans might whinge and cry, ‘heresy’, the band might whine and dither and vacillate, even excluding the young chap from the heart of their efforts, but in the end, the new singer made them more alive and vital than the old, dead wanker ever could have, if he had still been
alive. Sorry if you’re a diehard. Take comfort in the fact that Michael Hutchence, by all accounts died hard!
So there we have it: The Townsville Event is over, Spain have won the World Cup, and I need to make more plans happen today before heading off for a five or six day sailing/boating thing tomorrow. It’s been really great to spend this time with Antony, and I’ll be really sad to leave him when I do. We’ve had a really good time together - it’s cost him an arm and a leg, to be honest - but I don’t think he cares about that. I know he’s had a good time too! You can’t beat having fun with your family, can you? I’ll be back at the weekend, and we’re going to meet up again in Sydney for the last weekend in July before I leave Australia and head to South-East Asia and the cheaper climes more appropriate to my wages.
So I want to take this opportunity to say thank you to my brother, Antony: Thanks for everything, thanks for being so kind and generous, and thanks for just being a great brother. I love you!
See you on the flypaper!
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