Sunday, November 30, 2008


The recession is so bad in America , economists predict that bicycles will soon replace cars as the main means of transport in the country. Already millions of Americans have sold their cars and taken to the road on made in China bicycles.

In this way America is starting to resemble China during Chairman Mao’s days when the main source of transport was the ubiquitous bike. Little Darwin can reveal that President Obama will be driven about in an armour –plated executive tricycle followed by security men on skateboards and scooters .

Instead of wearing fake expensive designer labels clothes, most Americans now wear black Chinese coolie suits as they pedal along, swearing in mandarin at the Dukes of Hazzard hoons who refuse to part with their gas guzzlers. In another telling move, the old tune about loving my bicycle has shot to the top of the pops five weeks in a row.

The New York Stock Exchange is in the process of being converted into an instant flat tyre repair workshop where customers receive unlimited hot air and axle grease courtesy of the free –wheeling finance industry. And early this morning CNN reported that Michael Jackson was seen sharing a bicycle built for two with a monkey. Naturally, the intelligent chimp was doing the steering while Jackson was licking a Middle East ice cream and looking for his other glove.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Stories posted on the Little Darwin blog are often cryptic ones containing hidden inside information from various corridors of power. For example, our exclusive story about Federal Shadow Treasurer , Julie Bishop , being voted Miss NT Lemon Squash by the Humpty Doo Lemon Growers’ Association carried the secret message that she is about to be tossed on Canberra’s fruity compost heap .

No sooner had we posted our exclusive story than the Weekend Australian revealed the Bishop is about to be defrocked, figuratively speaking , because her colleagues have gone sour on her performance , both in the House of Reps and on the celebrity dance floor. Her failure to scrape the zest from Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan , in the steamy parliamentary kitchen has upset true blue Libs. Her male buddies, feeling the sap rising because of the approach of Spring , want to squeeze her out – hence our brilliant cryptic lemon scoop.

Little Darwin understands Ms Bishop will be given a new, highly regarded job : polishing the prized thistle of the late Liberal Party’s founder, Sir Robert Menzies. In this capacity she may also be responsible for barnacle control in the Cinque Ports, using lemon- charged detergent to make sure all yachts have a smooth bottom like Dame Patti - Australia’s early America’s Cup entrant.

There is no truth in the wild rumour that Ms Bishop and former Federal Treasurer, Peter Costello, both legal eagles, have been asked by an anonymous West Australian businessman to back a venture selling law diplomas through the mail to students in Nigeria.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


The annual general meeting of the Humpty Doo Lemon Growers’ Association last night voted Federal Shadow Treasurer Julie Bishop its pin up girl. This is because she often looks as if she has just sucked a lemon as she spits pips over the Rudd government.

Her homely expression will be used to promote increased lemon sucking among right wing conservatives . The lemon growers identified Ms Bishop as a market booster when they saw her dance the Lemon Meringue Samba on TV.

Little Darwin understands former Federal Treasurer , Peter Costello, may also be appointed a wandering ambassador for Top End lemon growers. He has that natural look of a regular lemon sucker.

Prominent lemon grower, Syd Canker, says the citrus fruit needs a new sexy image to combat competition from soursops. It is not know when Ms Bishop will be able to fly to Darwin to receive her Miss Lemon Squash sash . Right now she is having a tough time getting a word in sideways about matters financial because the Coalition’s top banana , Malcolm Turnbull, gives the government a fruity fiscal serve each time he sees an over –ripe bunch of nutty Canberra journalists .

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Believe it or not, Chef Ramsay is speechless . Readers will recall he was rushed to Iraq to prevent mutiny among Australian troops , many from Darwin, over their rations. Well, he was whipping up a fabulous batch of new tucker in the Baghdad Green Zone kitchen when it was peppered by a mortar barrage.

His surprise meal of shepherd’s pie , topped with 100 year old lamingtons, served on Dame Nellie Melba’s fan , with a drizzle of Pennsoil and a handful of monkey nuts , sustained a direct hit. A solid silver platter souvenired from Saddam Hussein’s palace hit Chef Ramsay on the head and knocked him out . Dug out from the rubble , a tin of unopened artichokes imbedded in his skull , Chef Ramsay was rushed to a hospital manned by Australian Army nurses .

After a three –day coma , he came to and found his hand held by a charming nurse in a tutu , Corporal Bruce Clinger , from Robertson Barracks . Ramsay’s eyes popped , he uttered something like ,“I’ll be !@*!!!!!” and lapsed back into a coma . He has recovered , but refuses to open his eyes and has not uttered another word. If he remains speechless for much longer his fabulous television career will be ruined, unless he can use finger gestures and body movements to leave no doubt what he means .

Friday, November 21, 2008


As part of the 2030 vision for the NT , redundant American car industry robots will be installed in the new Palmerston Hospital which will rival Dubai’s fabulous man –made luxury island estate Palm Jumeirah .

Instead of welding car body components together , the downsized , rusty robots will carry out rapid cosmetic surgery operations to turn Darwin into a city of beautiful people with a new car warranty on their battered organs. All females will be given a nip and tuck and converted into Nicole Kidman look alikes , according to exclusive information supplied to Little Darwin medical roundsman, Dr Bob Bandaid .

Dr Bandaid , addicted to hot chocolate , says the task will be difficult for the robot surgeons when it comes to converting Territory males into handsome snags as so many have heads like warthogs and bodies like ruptured bean bags.

The robots will automatically give each patient a free grease and oil change and tighten up their gudgeon pins, the latter tending to go sloppy and rusty in the Territory’s fabulous lifestyle. Fine tuning will have to be carried out on the mechanical robots before they are allowed to touch delicate dipsticks. Rapid robotic arm actions could also prove messy when it comes to handling bedpans.

Robots can be programmed to work twice as long without a break as your average bug-eyed hospital intern. The use of rejected auto robots will greatly reduce the bill for surgeons . However , the already over-worked nurses will develop bags under their eyes, droopy bosoms , flat feet, varicose veins and rapidly spreading waistlines.

Patients being operated on by a robotic medico will have the choice of selecting one which used to make Cadillacs, Hummers , Chevs or stretch limos before they were sacked and told to hit the road. Dr Bandaid says introduction of the robots into the Territory is in the capable- but dangerous- hands of Health Department mugwump , Edward Scissorfingers, just back from a study tour of a third world scrapheap , Detroit.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


According to a Katherine correspondent , a RAAF fighter jet hit a wallaby at the Tindal base yesterday. The wallaby was killed and the jet apparently did not suffer any major damage . It is expected the accident will speed up construction of a wallaby fence at the base to enable regular aerial medical flights to resume .

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Question: What happened to the report on asbestos in Royal Darwin Hospital? Are patients at risk ? It would be nice to know what is in the report. Anybody seen a copy of the document ? We at Little Darwin are receptive to things which fall from the back of trucks. The hospital was never designed for Darwin conditions, it being a copy of one in the ACT, unpopular with indigenous patients right from the start.

Why can’t Australia design hospitals to fit Australian regional conditions and requirements? A recently built Queensland public hospital was copied from a Canadian design. While this hospital did not buckle under snowstorms and attacks from marauding polar bears, it had some problems: water flooded into operating theatres, staff repeatedly pointed out the poor workmanship in respect of the painting , laying of floor coverings and what looked like salt damp . Push out windows along connecting walkways between buildings were so low children were likely to take a header and had to be sealed .

In the bathrooms , water from droopy shower heads ran out under the door . Lights often went on the blink in the bathrooms and took a long time to be fixed. Entering pitch black bathrooms can be dangerous for patients unsteady on their pins and visually impaired.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Former Prime Minister, Sir Robert Menzies, has been the subject of much attention of late what with the ABC’s documentary Menzies and Churchill at War and Graham Freudenberg’s whopper book , Churchill and Australia. Fancy Lady Astor wanting to give Ming her sapphires if he stayed on in London to help monster Winnie the War Winner.

Another titled lady is also said to have offered him access to her jewels. After being rejected by his own party, the United Australia Party,during WW11, Menzies formed the Liberal Party of Australia and went on to reign for many years as PM. His ideology is often trumpeted as being still very strong in the Libs. The first part in the Howard Years TV series on the ABC said Howard , like Menzies, flew the Australian flag from his car.

If Howard was keen to ape the founder of the Libs , then here is a strange story which could explain the Howard regime’s brutal attitude to boat people. It comes from the l937 book Round The World by Tom Clarke , director of a global organisation which sold practical journalism diploma courses. Menzies was travelling aboard the liner Strathaird between England and Australia and in his capacity as Attorney – General expressed a hardline attitude to a lovable stowaway.

This was no ordinary stowaway. It was a soap eating duck . The duck flew in after the vessel docked at Marseilles , France, made itself at home, and refused to flap off. A young English girl literally saved the duck’s neck when she begged the shipping company not to kill the bird, quickly named Donald Duck. She offered to look after the duck until it could be landed in some port of call on the way to Australia. The duck got into trouble by quacking loudly at night and eating soap. Malta refused to allow the duck ashore.

In an ominous move, Donald was placed in the tender care of the ship’s butcher. After the duck was refused entry at other ports, it was suggested it could go all the way to Orstralia. Menzies was asked for a legal opinion on the reception for the duck here. To quote from the book :” His reply was too evasive to be comforting for those who had the interests of Donald at heart. ”

Thankfully, the duck was taken ashore in a paper bag at Bombay and given to a friend who promised to look after him . Some cruel passengers suggested Donald Duck would end up Bombay Duck , the dish you get with a dash of Clive of India curry powder.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Little Darwin can exclusively reveal the nauseating happy ending to Baz Luhrmann’s epic film Australia which will soon be screened in redbrick dunnies throughout the nation. Our film critic, Ned Nong, peeped through a keyhole and saw the happy ending at the secret first screening of the revamped movie. Because of the change from a sad to a happy ending, the film will now be eight hours long. Happiness, it seems , is much desired in these days of economic doom and gloom.

To this end , the Japanese bombing of Darwin has also been cut from the movie as a survey has shown that most Australians do not know that Darwin had been bombed during WW11 so it would not put many bums on seats. A test audience thought it was another movie about Pearl Harbour when they viewed the trailer.

Our keyhole peeping critic Ned Nong says that in the rejigged movie Nicole Kidman gives the Aussie jackeroo Hugh Jackman she loves the flick and returns to Darwin. There she goes looking for the rich titled Pommie git who had been a passenger on the flying boat that first brought her to the Territory.

He is Sir Barry Ledwidge , whose ancestors made their fortune using slave labour to make rum in the West Indies . The Ledwidges also cornered the British Empire market for tasteless pork pies. Sir Barry is also rumoured to have been questioned by Bow Street Runners during the notorious Jack the Ripper investigations.

Sweating like a pig in the Territory’s fabulous lifestyle, Sir Barry has been stumbling about the Top End with his box Brownie taking happy snaps. The revised film shows him sitting on a rock at East Point , a drop of the family rum nearby , shooting the sunset . Nicole sneaks up on him clad in a revealing neck to knee cossie . They embrace passionately , lose their balance, totter about squealing , and fall into the sea. A pack of crocodiles tear them to pieces - and the audience cheers , happy to see the end of the film so that they can massage the feeling back into their butts.


President-elect Barack Obama has devised a breathtaking plan to solve the global snafu . Little Darwin can reveal it has been drawn up with the help of Judy Garland , the mangy Hollywood canine star, Lassie, naughty party girl , Britney Spears , and Judge Judy.

Judy Garland was called in early to help Obama become the Wizard of Oz and show him the way over the rainbow into the land where dreams come true. Dreams are part of the great American self - deception.

Lassie, now a geriatric in an expensive retirement village , will lead American troops home from Iraq to wage war against Wall Street , junk bond dealers, short sellers, floggers of dodgy derivatives , neo conservatives who sing Hallelujah while gorging themselves on Mammon and other free market buccaneers who drape themselves in righteousness and the Stars and Stripes. Lassie will eventually become another Obama family dog in the White House menagerie but will probably be on constant life support after the heat of Baghdad .

Readers of celebrity mush magazines will recall that after a tiny spell in the slammer , Britney , like so many in America , emerged from the clink to a giant media pack and proclaimed she had become a born again Christian . She told the word she could even spell the divine word Babel, sorry , Bible. To help President Obama solve the world’s many problems, she has promised to say a prayer for him each day as she is ejected from a posh nightclub.

Judge Judy will hold special no - nonsense court sittings to deal with the massive army of bankers , economists , investment advisors , lobbyists , Federal Reserve fishheads and all the other highly paid “experts” who did not see the obvious corruption going on .

The judge has warned that all criminally inept boards and CEOs will be ordered to pay back five years’ salary and their multitudinous fringe benefits which will go into the public purse . Their secret bank accounts in tax havens will also be confiscated . In this way , America will be awash in filthy lucre, Obama will become a saint , and it is predicted by the year 2012 every child born in a ghetto will be driving a gold plated Cadillac - legally.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


The Northern Territory is about to get revenge on Queensland for being the source of Darwin’s growing cane toad invasion. The Territory is going to flood the Sunshine State with rare lesbian lizards recently discovered in the Top End . These baffling lizards do not need males to breed . Bananaland will become known as the state which is beautiful one day and overrun by leaping lesbian lizards the next . Tourists will shy away from a place where hordes of lizards with floral parasols run up your leg . The image of Queensland as a tough macho state full of burly footballers will undoubtedly suffer. NSW rugby thumper Willie Mason is already calling the Queensland Broncos the legless lizards. And the Cowboys , based in the cane toad R and R capital of Townsville, are being mocked by Melbourne Storm who now jeeringly refer to them as the Brokeback Mountain Geckos .

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The Northern Territory loomed large in the lifetime highs and lows of the artist, Russell Drysdale, one of whose paintings hangs in the Wall Street Journal office of media magnate Rupert Murdoch. Born in England to well off parents, Drysdale worked on a North Queensland cane farm owned by a relative from l9l9 to l921 and studied art in Australia , England and Paris. Due to a detached retina, he only had effective vision from one eye and was rejected for war service .

In 1944 he captured the drought for the Sydney Morning Herald in a stark series of painting and was described as a kind of 20th century Henry Lawson of painting because he told the truth, harsh as it might be.

Seeking inspiration in 1957, Drysdale took his first wife, Elizabeth, known as Bon, , and their son, Timothy, to Ayers Rock, the Olgas , Alice Springs and Darwin. Mrs Drysdale returned home from Darwin and her husband and son continued on, flying to Melville Island , then going to Hall’s Creek , Derby, Broome and Perth.

From there they drove across the Nullarbour to Adelaide. As a result of this and other outback trips he became known as a pioneer of regional paintings, Aborigines increasingly appearing in his work. His Aboriginal paintings were described as being the first significant ones since the 19th century when they were depicted either as noble savages or curious survivors of the Stone Age and European massacres.

Returning to Australia from England in June 1958, Drysdale once more headed to the Territory with son Timothy. They drove to Darwin in a Land Rover and the artist left his son at the Don Hotel after giving the manager, Alf D’Ambrosio, brother of Darwin businessman and alderman , the late Ted D’Ambrosio, some money , asking him to look after the boy . Drysdale then headed off as official artist for an expedition into the Kimberley and central desert country with zoologist Jock Marshall , a bower bird expert, whom the Drysdales had known in London.

Soon after , police arrested Timothy, 18, and charged him with drink driving. Darwin Police Court was told that Drysdale , who pleaded guilty, had been seen driving erratically and at a fast speed around Darwin . Youths in the car had called “chicken” when a driver swerved out of the way. Drysdale had staggered about on the footpath . Arrested, he cried when taken to the police station . At the time of his arrest he was employed as a yardman at the Don Hotel in Cavenagh Street, now known as The Cavenagh.

Stipendiary Magistrate Stuart Dodds gave Drysdale some fatherly advice : “ You have to learn how to skim the fat off your own soup and blow the froth off your own beer as a man . It is up to you to make a man of yourself. You have not made a good start out on your own . Working as a yardman won’t help you . Possibly, the company you were with contributed to your foolishness to a large extent . If drink is your problem , realize that men who help you to drink are not your friends, son .” He was fined $80 and his licence cancelled for six months . His court appearance received national media coverage.

Timothy left Darwin and joined his father on the expedition, out of which came the profusely illustrated book Journey Among Men co-authored by Drysdale and Marshall. A troubled youngster, Timothy suicided at the age of 21 in July 1962. His mother took her life in November l963. Her suicide prompted artist Donald Friend , a longtime associate of the Drysdales, to refer to Timothy in his diary as “ that little swine.” Renowned for his caustic tongue, Friend was not impressed by the paintings of Aboriginal artist Albert Namatjira , and his diary was scournful of people who showered attention upon him.

Drysdale’s biographer, the late Geoffrey Dutton, said the paintings the artist produced during those grim years reflected the trauma in his life . He wrote: “ The works that emerged were sweated in blood through a period of acute psychological depression …The wounds in Drysdale’s life led him to draw his creative bow more strongly than ever before .”

Composer Peter Sculthorpe , a close friend of Mrs Drysdale, was so affected by her suicide he wrote and dedicated to her a piece of music which resulted in him receiving the first Alfred Hill Award. His career blossomed, and he developed an international reputation for presenting the Australian landscape , including Kakadu and Aboriginal culture, in his evocative music . The double family tragedy sparked an interest in the need for suicide prevention and education about the taboo subject .

In l964, Drysdale married Maisie Purves Smith, the widow of a painter confrere. Knighted in l969, Drysdale was immobilized by a stroke and died in 1981. At the funeral service Donald Friend delivered a passionate eulogy , saying he had been greatly influenced by Drysdale. Drysdale’s landscapes, set beneath relentless skies , with leafless trees , grassless land, hopeless blacks , scrawny, lonely station hands and their unfilled wives and lives appeared to be dreams of hell. His superb, sad and empty pictures were ones in which a town was one lonely street and a pub one bored man leaning against a verandah post.

This grim perspective, Friend continued, was at variance with Drysdale’s non- painter’s life. In life, Drysdale had enjoyed gaiety and wild talk, drink, laughter and companionship, everything that was the opposite to his pictures. A Drysdale sold for a record $1.62million about a year ago.

Monday, November 3, 2008


In yet another fabulous boost to Darwin's economy, it has just been announced that the controversial Gunns pulp mill planned for Tasmania will now be built on the old East Arm leprosarium site. A two -headed Gunns spokesman , wearing two papier mache hats,made the shock announcement this morning . Cascade lager beer is being quaffed in large quantities in the Wedding Cake to celebrate Darwin's latest triumph .
Gunns have told the Territory government that pumping a million gallons of gunk a day into Darwin Harbour will enhance real estate values. While admitting construction of the huge plant will cause rents to go into orbit, Gunns have come up with a solution.
Apart from churning out toilet rolls and packaging to help fill Tokyo Harbour, the mill will make cardboard houses for local families unable to afford a roof over their head.