IN many central Victorian households, this is the most wonderful week of the year.
Christmas is done and dusted. There were no serious casualties. Even the dog survived the dodgy leftover turkey.
The fridge is still half chockers with tasty stuff you couldn't ram down your gullet on Christmas Day and there's probably a tinnie or two and a bottle of cheap chardonnay in the beer fridge.
And… the summer holidays stretch out to the far horizon, so there's no need to get on with the "To Do” list until, oh, January 16.
What's more, it's too hot to do anything outside, and finally, there's summer TV!
Summer channel surfing… click.
SBS Speedweek, always good for a bit of petrol-head eye candy. Yep, Australian motorcycle racing.
“Smith is pushing his bike very hard,” the commentator screeches: “He's right behind the rider right in front of him.”
Hedging their bets
Click! ABC TV news from Sydney.
Central and northern Victoria is on high alert because of a huge and fast-running wildfire.
“Burning out of control between Bendigo and Shepparton ...”
What? The last time DTM looked, that meant a fire front of 122 kilometres.
We suppose when you're in Sydney, everywhere else is a bit of a mystery.
A city on the move
Click! One of the commercial TV channels (forget which one, but it's the one with the female weather presenter who waves and points at something every 3.7 seconds) is telling us how hot it'll be tomorrow.
“Bendigo will be windy with a scorching top of 38 degrees and ...”
Hang about! On the on-screen map, Bendigo has migrated about 250km to the east and is sitting somewhere atop the Australian Alps.
Should be a nice cool change, though, after last week's TV map showed us closer to Horsham.
The media has always provided some degree of chaotic mirth.
Such as this clipping from the Melbourne Argus of November 11, 1954.
“SCOTS ENJOY THOSE JOKES
Scots enjoy the way they are lampooned in jokes, because they know they are absurd.
Dame Fiona Macleod of MacLeod said this today at a civic reception which was also attended by local clansmen proudly tugging at their tartans.”
That was it, the whole story. We will file this in DTM's “What The?” file.
Lost in translation
The post-Christmas daze has – as usual – been punctuated with guffaws after reading some of the operating instructions which came with some gifts.
DTM's favourite this year was for the Innovation 4-in-1 flashlight.
It's function was to “Alarm and flee for trouble and emergency.”
In its How To section, it says: “If get accidents and when replacements types at night, use work light to light and beacon light to alarm, and use strong magnet base adsorption (?) beside type of the car.
“If get troubles at night and get accidents and can't untie the self belt, use the reamer to cut self belt off to flee.
“This product has magnetism, please don't it with metal things and things may be disturbed by magnet.
“This product could resist water only in daily life. Please don't use it in the water.”
Etc etc etc.