On her 11th birthday, my baby girl put on a sparkly dress, her sister’s makeup and a floppy hat, and went to see her first concert. Her ticket was paid for by her best friend. He wanted to make her happy. She was cross with me as she sauntered off because I told her that 11-year-olds don’t need to wear foundation. She told me I didn’t understand how much she needed to look lovely at the show. She was busting to scream, sing and be carried away with her friends by the music of Taylor Swift.
Whatever adults think of Tay-Tay or One Direction or Take That or Bay City Rollers or the Spice Girls or Metallica is not the point. At your first concert, you get to feel the live magic of your hero, your crush, your superstar; the artist whose tunes helped you through your heartache, with other people who feel the same devotion. For 90 minutes we forget that life can be shitty, that people disappoint, that friends let us down. We sway and dance in the dark and hear our music. Sinead O’Connor is my woman, I spent my grocery money on buying a ticket to her show two years ago, because I knew I had to hear that voice live once in my life.
This week young adults and kids in Manchester said goodbye to their mums and dads to head off for the night of their young lives, seeing their girl Ariana Grande sing songs for them. Some of them were just old enough to leave their parents at home. Those innocent kids won’t be coming back to tell their families how happy Ariana made them on the last night of their brief lives.
22 white Westerners die and the world is outraged, but more than 55,000 children have died in Syria, 7% of Catholic priests in Australia have been accused of child abuse and 200,000 aboriginal people massacred by ‘Christian’ settlers. This week I’ve had enough, I’m blaming righteous god botherers for the world’s problems, and the hypocritical males who run these archaic institutions. I can’t see what is attractive about your religion, what you believe in is bullshit if your beliefs dictate that you hide people who bomb babies, cover for men who sexually abuse children then deny it, and steal land from indigenous peoples in the name of an imaginary god. Your books preach love and your actions show that you hate your fellow humans, particularly the smaller ones. No wonder people are losing faith.
So the brilliant NSW State government has just poured money into another ridiculous venture, launching a website to tackle childhood obesity, which will be about as useful as me signing a petition to stop Malcolm Turnbull detaining refugees. Instead of actually spending money on fixing the growing problem of overweight kids, the health department will lecture and preach and give us more surveys and statistics. There is a simple fix but none of the pollies want to go there. Until the price of junk food becomes higher than the price of healthy food, low-income families will resort to the drive-thru and white sugar, white flour, white death options to treat their children. When we’re tired from working all day and don’t feel like cooking, rubbish food is low cost and easy to buy. If the government could grow some balls they’d tax the crap out of the junk food peddlers and make fruit and veggies cheaper. Why can’t the health department help people grow their own produce in every neighbourhood? It should be illegal to profit from selling chemicals and additives masquerading as food and drink to our kids. Get the rubbish food dispensers out of our hospitals and school canteens and watch our health budget decrease as our kids grow up to be healthy adults instead of becoming men and women who have diabetes and heart disease.
A study found that:
- 22 per cent of the state’s children are overweight or obese
- 5 per cent eat enough vegetables
- 64 per cent eat enough fruit
- 28 per cent get sufficient exercise
- 44 per cent spend more than two hours a day on a sedentary activity
Jillian Skinner, it’s a no-brainer to fix the problem, but your Liberal mates don’t want to upset the shareholders of the world’s major junk suppliers. Until you really do something constructive to help our kids, you’re talking crap.
Happy Mother’s Day! Single mothers will now have to provide ‘verification’ of their relationship status in order to claim Centrelink’s Parenting Payment Single. Single mums who leave parenting Payment Single and then return to the payment will also have to send the Human Services Department a photograph of themselves sitting alone crying into their one glass of Aldi wine on a Saturday night.
“From 20 September 2018 new claimants seeking Parenting Payment (Single) or single parents claiming Newstart Allowance will be required to have a third party sign a new form verifying that they are in fact single, then we can tattoo their scrawny necks and microchip them before we release them back into the wild,” the government announced as part of the 2017 Budget this week.
To be rewarded with vast sums from the government’s welfare-bludgers’ prize pool, I will have to find someone whom I don’t want to share the horizontal tango with, to verify that I am in fact raising my children single-handedly. I’m really not sure who I’m going to ask to help me with this. Will it be the merchant banker who picked me up at an art gallery and then took me on an incredibly boring date? The 22-year-old man working at my local servo who thought if he gave me a free juice and a bag of chips, that I’d go on a date with him? The guy who sent me ‘sexy’ pics of himself late at night on Facebook while his wife was asleep? He may be my best choice. Hopefully, he’ll get confused and tell the authorities that he and I have been shacked up for years with my children, his kids from three relationships, our cat and a feral budgie. Apparently, the penalty for making a false declaration is up to 12 months in jail. Which could mean I’m in for a nice break (Wentworth prison here I come) from mothering and working if my dreamy battler beau brags about our imaginary sexy times on social media.
“This is offensive and deeply disturbing,” said Terese Edwards, chief executive of the National Council of Single Mothers and their Children.
“Who verifies? Do children get asked? Is there a neighbour watch alert? This is a slippery slope back into the dark days. I’m proud of our single mothers, they are doing a damn good job and don’t need the burden of Government prejudice.”
Terese is right, single mothers are doing a damn fine job, they’re the hardest workers I’ve ever met. But I quite like the neighbourhood watch idea as I’m a bad picker. I could have a panel of people telling me if I’m going out with the wrong dude. My neighbours could shout out to me, “If you bring that guy home, we’ll tell Centrelink,” and I’d be dissuaded from making a bad move on Tinder. Happy Mum’s Day from the Liberal Government. Scott Morrison what a generous man you are, you have saved me from a lifetime of bad relationships. I think I’ll stay home tonight knitting myself an old cat lady chastity belt.
My new solo comedy show Kids In The Kitchen opens tonight at The Factory Theatre, Marrickville for the 2017 Sydney Comedy Festival